Landscape Security Deposits
To help ensure that landscaping is completed to the standard approved by Council, landscape security deposits are required for all development applications within Development Permit Areas.
What is a landscape security deposit?
Landscape security deposits are a monetary deposit collected as a condition of issuance of a Building Permit. They help the community ensure that landscaping for a developemnt is completed to the standard approved by Council in the development permit plans. Landscape security deposits are a common practice in municipalities throughout British Columbia.
Are landscape security deposits required for all developments?
Landscape security deposits are required for all developments within Development Permit Areas that require landscaping as a condition of a development permit. Development Permit Areas are designated by the Official Community Plan. A detailed map of Development Permit Areas can be viewed in the Official Community Plan.
How much is the deposit?
Commercial and industrial projects will be required to submit a landscape plan and cost estimate prepared by a professional landscape architect (BCSLA), architect (MAIBC) or quantity surveyor upon application for a development permit. The deposit will be 120% of the landscaping cost and will be collected prior to issuing a building permit.
Residential projects with five or more units will be required to submit a landscape plan and cost estimate prepared by a professional landscape architect (BCSLA), architect (MAIBC) or quantity surveyor upon application for a development permit. The deposit will be 120% of the landscaping cost and will be collected prior to issuing a building permit.
Residential projects with four or less units will be required to submit a cost estimate upon application for a development permit; however, it does not need to be prepared by a qualified professional. The landscape deposit will be 120% of the landscaping cost and will be collected prior to issuing a building permit. A minimum deposit of $2,000 will be required.
What type of payment is acceptable?
Payment can be made by cheque, credit card, cash or an irrevocable letter of credit from a chartered bank or other major financial institution.
What needs to be included in the landscape cost estimate?
A landscaping cost estimate must provide the cost of all landscape materials and labour (and applicable taxes) including but not limited to the following:
- tree protection measures;
- landscape grading;
- landscape retaining walls;
- landscape paving, including structural bases;
- landscape structures, such as fences, screen walls, living walls, built-in planters and shade structures;
- landscape furnishings, such as benches and seating, bicycle parking facilities, waste and recycling containers, recreational equipment and play equipment;
- plant materials, such as trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses or other ground cover;
- green roofs;
- sod and seeding;
- growing medium;
- structural soil cells;
- water features;
- site lighting;
- irrigation; and
- other landscape materials.
When is the deposit returned?
Landscape deposits will be returned once landscaping is completed to the standard set out in the Council approved development permit plans.
Hiring a BCSLA registered landscape architect to design the landscaping and to conduct the necessary inspections can help to expedite the release of your landscape deposit. The City of Victoria accepts the BCSLA Schedules L-1, L-2 and L-3 when signed and sealed by a registered landscape architect. Your landscape architect can submit Schedules L-1 and L-2 at the building permit stage if he/she has done the landscape design and prepared the drawings. These schedules confirm that the landscape architect has done the work and has been retained by the developer to conduct the necessary field reviews during the construction process.
Once the project is complete, the landscape architect can submit a Schedule L-3, confirming that the work has been completed as per the approved drawings. Upon receipt of this L-3 the City will release the landscape deposit.
In order to take advantage of this fast-track process, you will have to retain a registered landscape architect from the initial design stage through to the completion stage. If you choose not to do so, City staff will conduct a site inspection at no additional cost.
Note: The City reserves the right to conduct field reviews before releasing landscape deposits if the landscape architect is not a member of BCSLA or if the City has reason to suspect that the work may not have been completed in accordance with the approved plans.