Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

JAN 2016

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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44 LC DBM city, permits are required for walls over 4' in height. Any wall over 10' including buried portions must be designed by a professional. A permit is required for waterfront properties in Maine when constructing or replacing a retaining wall within 100' of a water re- source. In Minnesota, retaining walls less than 4' high are exempt from building permits unless they support a surcharge or certain im- pounding liquids. Check with city and county ordinances for any further restrictions. The City of White Plains, N.Y., regulates retaining walls under the city's zoning ordinance. Retaining walls over 30" in height re- quire signed and sealed drawings from a state design professional. The city requires that if a residential retaining wall has a "more attractive side," that side must face the neighboring property or the street. In Lakewood, Colo., all retaining wall designs must be reviewed and approved by city staff. A professional engineer must design walls higher than 30". All materials, colors, height and forms of proposed walls will be reviewed by the city to determine their compatibility with the surrounding landscapes, buildings, and other elements. In Clark County, Nev., a permit is required for any retaining wall higher than 2'. Any wall over 8' in height or with a sloping surcharge must be prepared by a state licensed engineer. The city of Cincinnati does not require permits for retaining walls in residential districts when the height from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall is no more than 4', and the wall is at least 5' from any buildings or lot lines. All walls have requirements that must be followed, such as a granular backfill behind all walls, and any retaining wall over 30" tall must have a guardrail when it is within 3' of a walking surface. The city of Sachse, Texas, only requires a permit when the wall exceeds 4' in height at any point along the wall, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall. A foundation inspection and a final inspection are required. Above: When building a retaining wall in a residential area, always check with the homeowners association to see if they have any requirements for color or style. In Lakewood, Colo., the selected materials, colors, height and form of any proposed wall will be reviewed by the city to determine their compatibility with the surrounding landscape and buildings. Bottom: When a city and a county have two different requirements, the stricter of the two always applies. For example, in St. Louis County, Mo., a permit is required for any wall greater than 3' in height as measured from the top of the grade on the non-retained side of the wall to the top of the wall. However, in Creve Coeur, Mo., which is in St. Louis County, permits are required for all retaining walls with a height of over 2'. Always verify permit requirements with city and county officials, and remember that local code trumps the NCMA guidelines. PHOTO: BELGARD

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