The general approach to landscape design may vary based on existing vegetation, slopes, soils and the architectural theme of the home. It is important to establish a landscape theme that reflects and enhances the architectural character and responds to the natural characteristics of the site. The NCC encourages the enhancement and protection of natural vegetation as part of the landscape concept. Landscape materials should be selected and arranged so that they accomplish the following objectives:
- Focus and enhance views and view corridors.
- Enhance the entrance to the home.
- Create outdoor spaces within the lot through the use of landscape beds.
- Use of landscape beds with smoothly flowing lines and clean edges.
- Large masses of similar landscape materials will always be more effective than using many different materials in the same area.
- Use of plant materials for privacy will always be encouraged over the use of fences.
- Use of color in the landscape year round.
- If curvilinear beds are used, smooth flowing large radii should be used.
- Visually soften the perception of structures and create scale in the landscape.
- Buffer driveways and parking areas.
- Screen adjacent properties by including both evergreen and deciduous materials as well as shade and flowering trees.
- Screen utility areas, transformers, phone boxes, air conditioning units, trash enclosures, TV dishes, and other ancillary elements
- Plant trees in groupings of one type and a minimum of three (3) trees per group, wherever possible.
- Generally, shrubs and groundcovers should be planted in masses of one (1) type per mass and in sufficient numbers to create beds or ‘drifts’ of plants. Minimum bed width shall be four feet (4’) and shall vary for interest. The purpose of planting beds, particularly in the front yard, is to extend planting out and away from the home. A single row of shrubs planted around the foundation is unacceptable.
A coordinated mix from among the following plant material types is recommended for each plan:
- Shade trees either a large or medium size at maturity to provide pockets of shade and visual scale to a yard. No trees planted on property, other than fruit or patio trees, should be less than 7 feet in height.
- Evergreen trees to provide year round greenery for screening. Also, their use as a specimen or accent tree is available. A balance of evergreen and deciduous trees (and shrubs) is essential for an attractive landscape year round.
- Ornamental trees of a small to medium size at maturity to provide interest to the understory landscape through features such as flowers, fall color, form, etc. To be used as single specimens or in groupings of three or more for greater impact.
- Deciduous shrubs to provide seasonal change. There are many varieties which provide outstanding features such as fall color, flowers, interesting winter branching and/or colorful berries.
- Evergreen shrubs to provide a permanent green background for foundation plantings, within hedge planting for screening of unsightly views and to provide a contrast to deciduous shrubs.
- Groundcovers, whether deciduous or evergreen, to provide a low growing ‘carpet’ effect in the foreground of foundation plantings.
- Perennials and flowering annuals to provide color and seasonal variety to the landscape. Pockets of color near high impact areas such as front doors, courtyards, and patios are encouraged to call attention to these areas.
- Lawn areas are the critical unifying element in the landscape. Sod is recommended in highly visible areas such as the front yard; however, seed is acceptable, but only during proper planting season (spring and fall).
- Natural areas provide a visual link between the golf course buffer areas and residential lots, and common areas. The areas include preserved trees, understory plants, and grasses.
The minimum landscape requirement to install around a new house must equal $5,000 or 3% of the house and lot value, whichever is greater. Refer to Neighborhood Supplemental Guidelines for specific neighborhoods. This landscape treatment shall be concentrated around the front and entrance of the house. The monies applied to the landscaping requirement shall not include any hardscape items (i.e. paving, walls, etc.). This also shall not include seed, sod, or irrigation.
All homes shall be landscaped with the following or a combination thereof: grass, groundcovers, shrubs, vines, flowering, and shade trees. All landscape plans must show adjacent site conditions including cart paths, golf fairways/tees/greens, residential drives, homes, etc., and indicate proposed landscape treatment related to these elements.
It is strongly recommended, that beds be 4 ft. in width, including drip line, ten inches (10”) to twelve inches (12”) in height, need to have soil amendments of 50% topsoil and 50% humas.
All yards must be sodded (see Neighborhood Supplemental Guidelines for Sassafras) and an automatic underground irrigation system installed. The irrigation system installed in Southwest Louisiana is highly recommended to be buried at the minimum of the freeze zone of six inches (6”) below dirt. Rear and side yards must be sodded unless seeding can be installed during appropriate season. Sodding shall extend through the entire R.O.W. area to the curb. All homeowners on golf course must sod to all property lines.
All areas disturbed by grading or construction activity shall be landscaped with turf, groundcover, or shrub beds. Mulch beds without landscape material will not be acceptable in disturbed areas. All disturbed areas shall be finished graded to provide smooth and even grades. All construction debris and material shall be removed from the site.
Cleanup of natural areas with heavy motorized equipment is prohibited to avoid root damage and compaction.
Natural areas must be kept free of trash, weeds, debris, and dead limbs and trees. Natural areas must be left completely undisturbed or must be completely cleaned up and landscaped. All edges of natural areas must be mulched and/or landscaped.
Home owners or lawn care contractors must dispose of their grass clippings, not in the storm drains or on Graywood property. All non-permanent objects in lawn must be moved on selected mowing day set by Graywood. Anything on lawns should be moved for lawn service.
Evergreen shrubs that will eventually cover mechanical and A/C units should be used.
Newly planted shrubs shall be installed at a minimum size of twenty-four inches (24”) overall height by twenty-four inches (24”) spread depending on type of shrub. Plant spacing shall be twenty-four inches (24”), thirty inches (30”) or thirty-six inches (36”) on center depending on the type of shrub.
The minimum installation size and spacing of groundcovers will depend on the type of groundcover. However, generally they should be from one (1) gallon containers and the plant extending beyond the edge of the container. In any event, the groundcover should provide from ninety to one hundred percent (90-100%) coverage within two (2) years of installation.
Small individual circles of shrubs or groundcover shall not be designed at the base of single trees.
The plant materials should be chosen based on their relationship of ultimate height and width in regards to the space in which they are planted. Layering of plant materials is encouraged. Taller plants should be placed behind lower plants.
Plant material foliage and flower colors should be complimentary.
All building edges shall have planting beds of shrubs and/or groundcover.
Large blank or long walls (unglazed) need to have plant materials grouped in order to minimize their effect and to provide a better scale with the surroundings.
Shrubs should be used to complement architectural features and not to obstruct views from windows to amenities.
Brick or stone edging needs concrete footing, so edging is level around home. There must be only one type of edging. Small round stone edging is permitted with the stone being no larger than 6-8 inches in diameter and continuously laid. Flagstone edging is permitted either stacked or vertical. It must be continuous and buried to a depth of 6 inches with no more than 6 inches above the ground on the vertical. All edging has to be consistent and pre-approved by the NCC.
Garage doors and driveway parking areas facing adjacent lots shall be screened with shrubs and trees near the property line.
Landscape screening is required at all locations in which living areas of a home are visible to and from home(s).
The following measures will be undertaken to ensure preservation of existing vegetation:
A tree survey shall be completed (in conjunction with other required survey work). Eight inch (8″) or larger trees and major tree cluster perimeters should be located prior to schematic design; at the time of the initial design conference a tree survey covering all areas that will be affected by construction will be necessary.
- The tree survey shall be used as an aid in developing preliminary plans. Tree preservation should be a high priority in sighting of buildings, parking, drives and other site elements.
- Final plans must clearly delineate trees to be preserved and a limit of disturbance line. This should be cross referenced with all aspects of the development such as utilities, grading, layout, etc.
- The limit of disturbance line must be protected with fencing, conspicuous and high enough to be seen by equipment operators. Temporary fencing must be installed far enough from the tree to prevent compaction and puddling over the root system and large enough to include the area within the drip line. No grading shall take place within the drip line of trees to be preserved. Sensitive root systems fall within this area and must be protected.
- No equipment storage or parking will be allowed within these preservation areas. Weed and debris removal within these areas must be done with hand tools.
- Fencing must be installed prior to any clearing or construction and must be maintained in good condition until construction is completed.
- It is the builder’s responsibility to enforce these standards with all subcontractors and utility companies throughout the entire construction process. If any disturbance occurs within areas designated to be preserved, these areas must be revegetated with large shade trees (minimum five inches (5”) cal. At a rate of 1 tree per every 300 sq. feet disturbed).
Garages for at least two (2) cars are required along with a recommended two (2) uncovered spaces for parking. No on-street, overnight parking is allowed. Curved or offset driveways which prevent a direct view into the garage are preferable (see illustrations).
No curb side parking areas may be created by extending any portion of the street pavement.
All driveways will be concrete, asphalt, brick, stone, interlocking, concrete pavers or other paver material as approved. All colors and materials are to be submitted to and approved by the NCC.
Driveway aprons shall be a minimum of thirty feet (30’) from the face of the garage door.
All driveways and walks must be dimensioned and detailed on the site plan. Dimensioning must include all radii points. All curved drives must be constructed of true arcs. Short tangents or excessively curved driveways are not permitted.
Where possible, access to corner lots shall be from the least traveled street.
All driveway cuts shall be in conformance with local standards and approved by the NCC.
Every driveway shall provide positive drainage away from the house and garage.
Front walks shall be minimum width of four feet (4’) with five feet (5’) preferred. The use of special paving material such as brick, concrete pavers or stone is recommended. Entry walkways surface materials should be the same or compatible with the driveway or structure materials.
The use of lighting throughout Graywood is designed to provide automobile and pedestrian safety, clarity of direction, security, and site entry identification. Lighting style will be integral in reinforcing the design concept as well as the overall aesthetics of the site.
Lighting fixtures for each site shall be from the same family of fixtures with regard to form, materials, and color. Each builder shall select his own lighting standard which is subject to review by the NCC. Lighting styles and locations are to be presented at the time of initial and final design review.
High levels of light are not acceptable.
- Intensity should be no greater than that needed for automobile and pedestrian safety.
- Lighting should be designed to avoid overflow or glare on adjacent lots or open areas.
- Colored, moving or flashing lights will not be permitted.
- Flood lights shall be shielded.
Light standards shall be integrated in the site design with other elements such as pedestrian walks, crossings, signage, and planting.
Lighting within parking areas must be closely coordinated with parking lot design.
Bollard and low scale fixtures should be used along pedestrian paths with a hidden light source.
Lighting should clearly illuminate approach driveways.
Pole height and spacing should be a function of the size of the parking area(s).
Flood/spotlights must be shielded.
Lighting style shall compliment unit architecture as well as any lighting located in the area associated with the streetscape design.
Post lighting shall not exceed eight feet (8’).
All exterior light fixtures shall be approved by the NCC. Fixture locations must be identified on the Site Plan and Building Elevations (drawn to scale) and fixture cut sheet must be provided for review.
Outdoor lighting for specific events (i.e. parties, celebrations, etc.) is allowed but must be removed within a 24 hour period after the event.
All signage shall be in conformance with the Graywood Comprehensive Signage Design Manual available under separate cover.
Real Estate Signs within Graywood can have a maximum surface area of 580 square inches.
For Sale By Owner signs must be the Graywood approved predesigned signs available at Image 360. Contact number (337-494-5533).
A For Sale Sign must be displayed on Private Property. (Not on City ROW’s)
Direction Signs for special events, (i.e. Open House) may be placed on City ROW’s. They should be placed no sooner than the day before the event and removed the day of the event. In no case should they remain more than four days. They should not be decorated with balloons and or flagging.
No signs of any type may be displayed at the Big Lake Road Entry.
Preapproved Graywood designed No Carts signs may be displayed on the rear of a home abutting the course. Available at Image 360. Contact number (337-494-5533).
In general, fencing of yards is not permitted. Small sections of fence or wall will be considered for approval by the NCC in the following circumstances if the wall/fence material is architecturally compatible with the home:
- Small enclosures for mechanical equipment.
- Short sections of privacy wall/fence in courtyard areas.
- Where required for structural, retaining conditions.
- Temporary fences must meet certain criteria. Fences used as temporary barriers and for silt collection during construction around vegetation must be sturdy, at least three feet (3’) tall, and easy to maintain.
- Fences are prohibited in utility easements, road rights-of-way and all temporary fences must be removed prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
- Permanent fences and walls are generally discouraged. No fence or wall shall be constructed unless the owner has obtained written approval of the NCC.
- Although fences and walls are discouraged, fences to be utilized in connection with single family homes shall be used to define specific spaces such as private gardens, patios, pools and play areas, rather than delineating property lines. Privacy fences and walls in all cases shall be limited to small enclosures around the house.
- Generally, fencing should be 3 feet from side and rear property lines to allow for positive drainage. See specific neighborhood guidelines for restrictions.
- Privacy fences that are solid are allowed within 25 feet of the rear of the house. Wood privacy fencing is prohibited. Open fencing may be used beyond 25 feet but must meet the requirements of items 1 through 9.
- Unless required by a Code Requirement, no fence will exceed a total of eight feet in height.
- Fences and walls shall be architectural extensions of the house or other buildings and shall be composed of materials and/or colors to complement the house or such other buildings.
- Chain link fences generally are not permitted and generally chain link fences will only be permitted within Graywood in very special circumstances (dog kennels) and only after receiving the prior written approval of the NCC. In the event a chain link fence is approved, it must not be visible from any common area, road, golf course or adjacent dwelling and must be black coated and heavily landscaped.
- There shall be no property line fences along golf course frontage or lake frontage unless approved by the NCC. Golf course rear property line fencing must be a minimum of 10 feet from the course. All fence plans, designs, color, materials, and locations must be submitted and approved by the NCC prior to any construction.
- Fence enclosures around pools should be in conformance with Calcasieu Parish regulations and/or other applicable local, State, or international regulations.
- Generally, fences are discouraged on lots with golf course frontage.
All trash containers must be units that conform to city standards. Trash containers must be screened from view in all cases.
The Graywood mailbox will be installed by the developer and billed to the homeowner at closing. Mailboxes will include the address numbers only.
The mailbox post paint color can be obtained at South City Paint under the name Graywood sign/mailbox paint. The mailbox can be purchased at Stine Lumber Company, type TuffBox. The replacement numbers can be purchased from Signs Now.
All garbage and trash containers shall be kept within a garage, or in a screened or landscaped area. They should not be visible from the street or from other houses.
All swimming pool and hot tub designs must be submitted to the NCC for review and action prior to construction. Include pool, hot tub, spa, deck, and fencing design and layout, material and equipment in submission.
Fence enclosures around pools should be in conformance with Calcasieu Parish regulations and/or other applicable local, State, or international regulations. Landscape screening and enhancement of pool, hot tub and spa areas is required.
All swimming pools must fit naturally into the topography of the proposed lot and located to provide minimal visual impact to surrounding properties and streets. All pumps, filers, and equipment must be screened from street and adjacent property view.
Hot tubs and spas and their related pumps, filters, and equipment must be screened from street and adjacent property view and located where they will not cause a nuisance to neighbors.
Play equipment must be located where it will have a minimum visual impact on adjacent properties and streets. Fixed play equipment should be earth tone, dark green colored wood, or metal with dark green or blue slides and seats and earth tone wooden roofs. No multi-colored tarps are permitted. Trampolines are not allowed in the neighborhoods of Camellia, Primrose, Azalea, and Cypress due to property size and lawn maintenance issues.
Animal house design, exterior colors and materials must relate to the exterior of the house. The structure should be completely screened from any view from surrounding properties and streets, and be discreetly located so as to not cause a nuisance to neighbors, preferably the rear yard behind the house. The floor of the kennel must be concrete sloped to a drain. The drain must be tied into the City sewage system. Fenced dog runs are not allowed. See fence guidelines for a description of types of fences that can be used for dog enclosures.
All out buildings, where allowed, must be within the architectural keeping of the original primary home. Out buildings are considered to be defined as pool houses, play houses, or structures not used as living space or storage other than golf carts. Landscaping of the structure must be within the percentage requirement for that specific neighborhood. All plans & exterior materials must be submitted to the NCC for prior approval.
The NCC has the right to review outdoor furniture, yard sculpture/fountains and garden structure.
Gazebos, arbors, etc. should be fully detailed (site plan, elevations, details, etc.) and submitted for review. Site compatibility will determine approval.
Front doors and entry area decorations should be simple in design and in keeping with the style and colors of the house. Plants and flowers in pots should always be neat and healthy.
Outdoor storage of garden tools and hoses must be screened from view. Tools or items stored under a back deck or porch must be also screened from view by planting shrubs around the decks.
Seasonal banners and flags should be properly mounted and in good taste. Decisions regarding the appropriateness of a banner or flag will be made by the NCC.
Firewood containers/racks shall be located in the rear yard. Tarps covering a woodpile are allowed only if the woodpile is completely screened from view and must but clear or earth tone in color. For example, a tarp-covered woodpile may be located under a deck with shrubs planted around it.
Birdhouses and birdbaths should be simple in design and in keeping with the style and colors of the house. Submit drawing or picture in site plan for review.
Solar equipment shall not be installed without the approval of the NCC. Any solar panels and related appurtenances and equipment shall be designed and constructed to appear as an integrated part of the building architecture. This shall generally mean that the panes shall be roof mounted so that the top surface is flush and parallel with the roof surface, with all appurtenances recessed into the structure’s attic. Solar panels must be located on the rear or side roof of a home and have minimum view from the street, other homes, or golf course. Any equipment placement must be approved by the NCC.
Solar equipment will be considered on a design specific basis. All solar panels must be installed with a 45 degree east or west of due south. Solar panels must not have excessive glare and reflection. Any related equipment must match roofing colors or be of a color that complements the house. No exposed attachment straps or conduit will be allowed.
Accessory structures, such as playhouses or doghouses, shall be permitted only with specific written approval of the NCC. No tool sheds or other exterior buildings will be allowed.
No decorative objects such as sculptures, birdbaths, fountains, and the like shall be placed or installed on any lot without approval of the NCC. Fountains may be erected in the front and sides cape of the home, only if in a courtyard, where it’s not seen from the street or golf course and approved by the NCC. In the rear of the home, fountains may be erected if massed properly by landscaping, but must also be approved by the NCC.
Clotheslines shall not be permitted on lots.
Tennis Courts are allowed only with the permission of the NCC.
Basketball goals must be mounted on freestanding black metal poles and have clear backboards. Goals should be located in side or rear yards and oriented for minimal visual impact from the street. Submit site plan for approval. Basketball goals mounted to the house structure are not permitted.
Play equipment shall be allowed, however, restrictions of their location and screen shall be enforced. All play equipment shall be restricted to backyards. Brightly colored metal equipment is discouraged. Wood and recycled play equipment is highly encouraged. Trampolines are not allowed in the neighborhoods of Camellia, Primrose, Azalea, and Cypress due to size of the property and lawn maintenance issues.
Blow up toys and Jumping-Air-Houses can be up for a maximum of three days.
The use of unlicensed non street legal recreational vehicles, including golf car, four wheelers, go carts, motorized scooters, off road vehicles, or any other type of non licensed recreational vehicle, on the city streets, sidewalks, cart paths, trails, privately owned lots, or on surrounding Graywood property is strictly prohibited.
Boats, rafts, or other recreational equipment is not allowed on any waterways or body of water within Graywood.