Welcome to McCloskey & Faber's Municipal Portal!

Here you will learn about the benefits McCloskey and Faber can bring to your municipality as a municipal landscape architect. The video and articles below represent a large, but not all, variety of services and benefits. McCloskey and Faber has served a large number of municipalities - some over 30 continuous years of service - including Horsham Township, Upper Moreland Township and Hatfield Township currently. Through plan reviews, field inspections, and SALDO/Zoning Ordinance review we promote safe, healthy, and beautiful environments.

Why Hire a Landscape Architect? on Vimeo.

Land Development and Zoning Submission Services:

  1. Visit applicant-sites to review existing features related to tree preservation and or tree replacement.
  2. Review Landscape Plan and Detail submissions for adequacy of landscape components.  Follow-up reviews and review letters are repeated until plans meet requirements of municipal ordinances.
  3. Review Riparian Corridor Management Plans for adequacy.
  4. Review Applicant Landscape Cost Estimates as required for escrow agreements.
  5. Pre-construction site reviews of tree protection fencing placement and review of actual tree removals.
  6. Pre-final construction evaluations for landscape compliance.
  7. Evaluation of sites at the end of required guarantee periods. 

All findings are documented and forwarded to the Township staff in a timely manner for use by the various Commissions and Boards in the decision making process as well as by the Township Engineer in their efforts.  We work closely with the Township Engineer and other Township Consultants in terms of addressing specific needs and to avoid duplication of efforts.  We forward final escrow reviews to the engineer for inclusion in the overall escrow estimate. 


BENEFITS of involving a Landscape Architect:

  • Promote a healthy environment for current and future generations
  • Assure the proposed Design/Application meets or exceeds minimum landscape related Code requirements
  • Encourage long-term survivability of required plantings based on knowledge of regional landscape material
  • Reinforce preservation of mature trees and woodlands
  • Promote better design and monitor proper installation procedures for an improved end result
  • Provide qualified feedback on landscape related revisions to the SALDO and Zoning Codes
  • Understand recent directions in stormwater management and development trends which affect landscaping
  • Stimulate use of quality landscape material
  • Most of the expense is a pass-though cost to the Developer

DRAWBACKS for not involving a Landscape Architect:

  • Inadequate installation procedures
  • Deficient quality landscape material
  • Lack of proper care for existing mature preserved trees
  • Poor design choices leading to poor quality landscapes
  • Dead and dying landscapes for future generations
  • Acceptance of undersize or insufficient plant material resulting in an incorrect escrow release to Developer
  • Potential landscape related safety issues may go unidentified


Typical Progress of a Land Development

Municipal Landscape Architect Consultant

Note: Invoices for this work are generally issued to the Municipality, who forwards a copy to the Applicant or Developer or Builder.

Subdivision and Land Development Reviews (First, Second, and subsequent Landscape Plan reviews (also may include Conditional Use reviews, Sketch Plan and Zoning Plan reviews) per Municipal Codes as they relate to Landscaping: 

    1. Notification: In general, Landscape Plan reviews by M&F are generated based on requests made by the Municipality.
    2. Number of plan reviews varies depending on the complexity of the site, effort made by consultant on first and subsequent submissions, the nature of the development, and number of requests from the Municipality.
    3. Plan review includes a site visit and look at context to verify plan information and determine recommendations for tree counts/replacement trees.


Tree Counts:  Tree counts are performed by M&F, as part of plan the plan review process (as applicable based on Municipal Code): 

    1. Site visit set up between Applicant’s representative(s) and M&F.
    2. Trees that are reasonably healthy and over a certain caliper are to be replaced per the Municipal Code (as applicable).
    3. Count each individual tree in relatively open areas.  For wooded areas, count up to 3 representative samples (100’ x 100’), average the quantities per acre, and multiply times acreage of woodland area.
    4. Record of Site Review memo issued by M&F which includes observations and tree counts based on the site visit.
    5. Prepare for and attend Municipal Staff Meetings: 
    1. Notification: Municipality notifies M&F when attendance is requested.
    2. Meetings normally run by Municipal staff.


Review of Cost Estimate (for Land Development agreement):

    1. Cost estimate is submitted by Applicant, certified by the Project Engineer.
    2. Municipal Engineer will provide a copy of the estimate for M&F review/recommendation of approval.  M&F will review Landscape related sections of the estimate:
      1. Verify quantities of required material
      2. Check that prices are current
    3. Provide recommendations and include within a plan review letter, or issue as a separate memo when not included in Landscape Plan reviews above.


Municipality Approval:  project is passed via resolution, which is thereafter binding in place of the ordinance.

Pre-construction meeting: 

    1. Notification: M&F attendance is at the request of the Municipality.
    2. Meeting includes the Applicant/Developer, Contractor(s), Municipal Staff, Municipal Engineer staff, and others
    3. Issues to emphasize:
      1. Tree protection fence must be installed before earthwork begins
      2. All plant material must be at the specified size as indicated on the approved Landscape Plan before escrow is released
      3. Plant species substitutions must be requested in writing to the Municipal by the Landscape Architect who prepared the plan
    4. Information to get:
      1. Anticipated schedule of construction
      2. Get relevant names & phone numbers, e.g. job superintendent’s name, phone number at on-site trailer


Site review of clearing limits (as applicable):

    1. Notification: Review for tree clearing limits (if required – depending on the approved Plan) by M&F is normally soon after pre-construction meeting.
    2. Tree clearing limits are normally marked by stakes or flagging tape by the Applicant/Developer or his representative.
    3. M&F will meet with the Developer or his representative to review tree clearing limits as marked in the field.
    4. A Record of Site Review memo is issued based on M&F observations for each site visit.
    5. M&F may stop by from time to time during construction to check that trees credited as preserved are there and not damaged.  Damaged trees are to be removed by the developer and the total replacement tree requirement adjusted accordingly.


Site review for tree protection fence (usually soon after pre-construction meeting):

    1. Notification: Review for tree protection fence (if required – depending on the approved Plan) by M&F is normally after pre-construction meeting.  Occasionally, tree clearing limits and tree protection fence installation reviews are done at the same time, depending on the nature of development.
    2. Representative from M&F will stop by when tree protection fence is up (not necessary to arrange an inspection meeting). 
    3. M&F will check that Tree Protection fence is there, located per approved plan, and that it is being maintained.
    4. M&F may contact Applicant/Developer or Contractor before issuing a memo of non-compliance.
    5. If the fence is not installed per the approved Plan, more than one initial site visit is required.  M&F will revisit the site within two weeks and report observations accordingly.
    6. Once the initial tree protection fence is accepted, M&F may stop by from time to time throughout construction without notice.
    7. Municipal Engineer construction representative will make M&F aware of any concerns at the site since M&F is not out there every day.
    8. M&F will recommend a fine be imposed by the Municipal Code Enforcement office if Tree Protection is not installed and maintained per plan throughout construction.


Reviews during construction:

    1. Notification:
      1. As requested:  Municipal staff or Municipal Engineer construction representative contacts M&F when Code violations are observed
      2. M&F may stop by from time to time soon after installation starts
      3. Request for escrow release of Landscaping
      4. Request for Final site review
      5. Request prior to Dedication
    2. Plant material is to have proper form and be at required size, in good health, straight, planted at grade (neither too high nor too low), and located per plan.
    3. M&F will refer to the specifications and details on approved drawings.  M&F will check that trees are planted per specifications for ball size, fertilizer, staking, caliper, species, mulch, etc.
    4. A detailed report is written for each site visit.  If an escrow reduction is requested, a detailed spreadsheet which outlines M&F recommendations for release of Landscape escrow is included.

Inspections for end of guarantee/maintenance period (EOG)
(when notified by the Municipality, Municipal Engineer, or Applicant/Developer):

      • Arrange joint inspection with the Applicant/Developer and/or their Landscape Contractor (not required, but suggested).
      • Plant material must be in leaf for EOG inspection, and replacements must be planted at a season when they will survive.  If not, it is recommended that a separate escrow account be set up in the same amount, to extend the guarantee period until May or October.
      • Plant material must be in good health, with no more that 25% dieback.
      • A detailed letter is issued with a punch list based on the observations at the site.  M&F will follow up with another site visit(s) and report(s) until all items are acceptable.  At that time, M&F will recommend release of all remaining escrow.
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831 Dekalb Pike, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, 19422 - Phone: 610.277.9200 - Fax: 610.277.9203