Very unhappy with the landscaping approval process. Here is why:
The landscaping requirements for our new home allowed for "Alternate Landscaping (Low Water)" of our front yard. We chose this option, which required that we submit detailed plans for approval by Qualico, prior to landscaping construction. We had plans prepared by a landscape designer. The design drawings were presented to Qualico, and were approved and signed by Qualico. At that time the Qualico representative reminded us to ensure the tree met the minimum caliper size and "strongly suggested that black or grey rock be avoided". We had the landscaping completed by a landscaping construction company, as outlined in the approved design. Following construction, we requested return of our $1,000 landscaping deposit that was being held by our builder. Shortly thereafter, we were informed that our landscaping had been failed by Qualico.
Obviously, we were very surprised, and we requested clarification. The reply that we received through the builder was that the finished landscaping didn't match the drawing and did not maintain a sense of greenery. We protested, noting that the landscaping was completed as specified in the approved drawing (i.e. one tree larger than the 1 3/4" caliper requirement, one shrub greater than the 18" spread/height requirement, 12 perennials, 5 tall grasses, a section of sod and Montana Rainbow rock). All of this was in the small courtyard side of our front yard.
Qualico replied that the plants were smaller than illustrated in the drawing. We replied that the drawing illustrates the maturity view, not the planted size of the plants and that we expected that Qualico, as a professional development company, would know how to read landscape design drawings.
We also were told that our landscaping deposit would not be returned and a caveat would be registered against our property title unless we changed the landsaping to achieve Qualico's (subjective) 'sense of greenery'. We were given the choice of adding more sod (which would require the removal a some of the perennials) or adding 5 more shrubs (now with a 24" height requirement instead of the previous 18" requirement). Reluctantly, we decided to add 5 shrubs (costing an additional $180). The modified landscape was approved by Qualico and our deposit was refunded.
Now, our small front yard landscape looks cluttered. The integrity of the design has been ruined. This will only get worse as the many plants mature.