(a) Generally. Trees, vegetation, irrigation systems, fences, walls, and other landscape elements are considered elements of a project in the same manner as parking and other site details. The owner of the property shall be responsible for the continuous proper maintenance of all landscaping materials, and shall keep them free from refuse and in good repair at all times. The owner of the property shall either remove all debris prior to mowing of the landscaped areas or shall bag as the mowing activity occurs so as to not discharge debris onto the neighboring properties.
(b) Installation. All required landscaping shall be installed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the Town. If it is not possible to install the required landscaping because of weather conditions, the property owner shall post a bond for an amount equal to the total cost of the required landscaping prior to the issuance of the temporary certificate of occupancy. The temporary certificate of occupancy shall expire within six (6) months and shall not be renewed unless the property owner demonstrates to the Town Manager that failure to comply was due to unique circumstances.
(c) Maintenance. It shall be the responsibility of the owners to insure proper maintenance of the landscaping in accordance with the standards set by this article, including, but is not limited to, providing appropriate irrigation systems, replacing dead plantings with identical varieties or a suitable substitute approved by the Town, and keeping the area free of refuse and debris.
(d) Replacement of landscaping materials. All unhealthy or dead plant material shall be replaced by the next planting season. Other required landscape material that becomes defective shall be replaced or repaired within three (3) months of the occurrence of the defect.
(e) Trimming plant material. Landscape materials are intended to grow, spread, and mature over time. Landscape materials used to fulfill requirements of this chapter may not be pruned or otherwise treated so as to reduce overall height or level of opacity below the minimum requirements. Pruning, limbing-up, topping, and other inhibiting measures including removal may only be practiced to insure the public safety, to maintain a neat and attractive appearance, and to preserve the relative health of the material involved.
(f) Changes after approval. No landscaping which has been approved by the Plan Commission may later be altered, eliminated, or sacrificed without first obtaining further Plan Commission approval.
(g) Inspection. The Town by its duly authorized representatives shall have the authority to visit any lot to verify compliance with the landscaping requirements.