What is a Landscape Assurance Device?
A Landscape Assurance Device provides the city with monetary recourse in case all landscaping work required under a permit or land use approval is not satisfactorily completed in accordance with the conditions of the approval. The most common type of assurance device accepted by the city is an Assignment of Savings. An Assignment of Savings gives the city permission to access a special account set up at your bank in your name containing the required amount of the Landscape Assurance Device. The city can accept other types of assurance devices—letters of credit, bonds, or other accessible sources of funds—on a case- by-case basis.
When is a Landscape Assurance Device required?
An applicant may be required to provide a Landscape Assurance Device in two instances. The first is when the approved plans are issued before the plants are installed; in this case, a Landscape Installation Assurance Device is required. The second is after the plants are installed and during the required one- year maintenance period to ensure that the plants survive. In this instance, a Landscape Maintenance Assurance Device is required. You will work with the land use planner assigned to your project to set up the appropriate device and then to have it released once the work is completed in accordance with the conditions of approval.
How do I determine the amount of my assurance device?
The amount of the device is determined by getting from a landscape architect or other landscape professional an estimate of the cost of plant materials and the labor associated with installing those plants. The amount required for a Landscape Installation Assurance Device is 150 percent of the estimate. For a Landscape Maintenance Assurance Device, the amount is 20 percent of the same estimate for plants and labor. Prior to acceptance of the assurance device, the land use planner assigned to your project will review the estimate.
How do I submit a Landscape Assurance Device to the city?
You will get the appropriate form—either a Landscape Installation Assurance Device Assignment of Savings Form or a Landscape Maintenance Assurance Device Assignment of Savings Form—from your land use planner.
- Fill out the top portion of the form and take the form to your bank.
- The bank will open an account with a deposit consisting of the approved amount of the Assignment of Savings; have a bank representative complete the form.
- Return the form and a copy of the estimate for plant materials and labor to the planner.
The form grants the city sole permission to access the funds if the conditions of the project approval are not fulfilled. The money will stay in the account until the Assignment of Savings is released.
How do I get my Landscape Assurance Device released?
The release of the city’s ability to access the funds in your account is triggered by landscape inspection approval. If the assurance device is for installation purposes, contact the land use planner assigned to your project once the installation of the plants has been completed. If the planner determines that the plant installation meets the conditions of the land use approval, the Assurance Device can be released. It is your responsibility to contact your land use planner to release the assurance device. If the planner determines that corrections are needed, the device will be held until these corrections are made and are approved by the planner.
In the case of a Landscape Maintenance Assurance Device, the funds are held for one year after the installation of the plants. At the end of that year the planner will perform an inspection on the plant materials to determine survivability. If the plants pass the inspection, the assurance device will be released by the land use technician. If the planner determines that replanting has to take place, the assurance device will be held for the period of time determined by the planner.
How do I know that my assurance device has been released?
Once all required inspections are finalized, the land use technician will release the city’s right to access the Assignment of Savings by notifying the bank in writing. A copy of the release letter will also be sent to the person who opened the account.