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The Department of Development and Permits ensures that the property owner maintains the security of the structure for vacant commercial buildings. The property must be kept up to minimum Virginia Maintenance Code requirements. Beyond that, the City does not have additional enforcement for vacant commercial buildings.
The zoning ordinance provides guidelines for the spacing and placement of landscaping plants. It does not provide recommendations for the use of native plants at this time. We do have a favored tree list in our Landscape Specification Manual. Some of the acceptable trees are natives. With the introduction and/or mutation of insect and disease pathogens, sometimes natives are not the best suited for the stressful environments of parking lots and streetscapes.
Here is a video response from Development & Permits Customer Service Manager, Sandra Witherow.
Learn more about related zoning ordinances.