Chapter 18. General Zoning Ordinance
Sec. 18-133. Landscaping Requirements
Landscaping shall be provided based on the following requirements for street frontages, paved areas, and bufferyards. These requirements are additive to each other and any other landscaping or screening requirements in this Chapter. Landscaping point values shall be doubled for mature existing landscape plantings that are retained and protected with the development of the site. In calculating the number of required landscaping points under the provisions of this section, all areas and distances on which required calculations are based shall be rounded up to the nearest whole number of square feet or linear feet. Any partial plant derived from the required calculations of this section (for example: 23.3 canopy trees) shall be rounded up to the next whole plant (for example: 24 canopy trees).
(1) Street Frontages.
(a) For every 100 linear feet of street frontage of a developed lot abutting a public street right of way, the landscaping installed shall at a minimum meet the number of landscaping points specified in Figure 18-133(a).
(b) Street frontage landscaping shall be placed so that at maturity, the plant's drip line is located within 10 feet of the public street right of way.
(c) Unless meeting the requirements in Section (f) below, landscaping shall not located within a public right of way. Landscaping shall not impede vehicle or pedestrian visibility. See Section 18-102.
(d) Shrubs shall not be used to meet street frontage landscaping requirements. A minimum of 50 percent of all points shall be devoted to decorative or medium trees, or a combination of such trees.
(e) For all lots not meeting the requirements of this Subsection as of the effective date of this Chapter, the following shall apply:
1. For additions to floor area, landscaping installed shall be equal to the percent increase in new floor area. New floor area shall be defined as the square footage of the addition divided by the square footage of the existing building.
2. For additions to paved areas, landscaping installed shall be equal to the percent increase in new paved area. New paved area shall be defined as the square footage of the addition divided by the square footage of the existing paved area.
(f) The City may require the street frontage landscaping to be placed within the right-of-way and shall collect fees to purchase and install such landscaping.
(2) Paved Areas.
(a) For every 20 off-street parking stalls or 10,000 square feet of pavement (whichever yields the greater landscaping requirement), landscaping shall at a minimum meet the number of landscaping points specified in Figure 18-133(a).
(b) Paved area landscaping shall be placed so that at maturity, the plant's drip line is located within 10 feet of the paved area. Said area does not have to be provided in one contiguous area. Plants used to fulfill this requirement shall visually screen parking, loading and circulation areas from view from public streets.
(c) A minimum of 30 percent of all points shall be devoted to medium or tall trees, or a combination of such trees, and a minimum of 40 percent of all points shall be devoted to shrubs.
(d) Parking Lot Design.
1. Landscaped medians shall be used to break large parking areas into distinct pods, with a maximum of 100 spaces in any one pod.
2. Parking spaces must be broken by a tree island at the rate of one island for each linear row of 12 parking spaces for single-row or peninsula configurations, or for each 24 parking spaces in double row configurations.
3. All tree islands and landscaped areas with trees shall have a minimum of 9 feet as measured from outside the curb or frame.
4. All landscaped areas without trees, but planted with shrubs, shall have a minimum width of 3 feet measured from inside the curb or frame.
(3) Bufferyards. A bufferyard is a combination of distance and a visual buffer or barrier. It includes an area, together with the combination of plantings, berms and fencing that are required to eliminate or reduce existing or potential nuisances (e.g. dirt, litter, noise, glare, signs, and incompatible land uses, buildings, or parking areas).
(a) The required level of bufferyard opacity is listed in Figure 18-133(b). Detailed bufferyard requirements are listed in Figure 18-133(c). Opacity is a quantitatively-derived measure which indicates the degree to which a particular bufferyard screens the abutting property. The required level of opacity indicated is directly related to the degree to which the potential character of development differs between different zoning districts.
(b) Bufferyards shall be located along (and within) the outer perimeter of a lot wherever two different zoning districts abut one another. Bufferyards shall not be required in front yards or for existing development.
(c) Bufferyards are not required for existing development.
(d) Bufferyards are not required where additions to existing buildings or paved areas are not visible from adjacent properties eligible for buffering according to Article III or Figure 18-133(b).
(e) Where the minimum permitted width for the required bufferyard is not available under the current state of development, the Plan Commission may reduce the width required for the bufferyard to that currently available on the site.
(4) Use of Required Bufferyard and Landscaped Areas. Any and all required bufferyards or landscaped areas may be used for passive recreation activities. Said areas may contain pedestrian, bike or equestrian trails provided that no required material is eliminated; the total width of the required bufferyard, or the total area of required landscaping, is maintained; and all other regulations of this Chapter are met. However, in such areas, no swimming pools, tennis courts, sports fields, golf courses, or other such similar active recreational uses. No parking, buildings, outdoor light fixtures, and no outdoor display of storage of materials shall be permitted. Paving in such areas shall be limited to that required for necessary access to, through, or across the subject property.
(5) Utility Easements. Landscaping materials, fences and berms located within a duly recorded utility or a pedestrian easement shall not count toward meeting a landscaping requirement, unless authorized otherwise by the City and applicable utilities. The width of such areas may be counted as part of a landscaping requirement.
(6) Other Green Space Areas. Green space areas not used for landscape plantings other than natural resource protection areas shall be graded and seeded or sodded with an acceptable maintainable seed mix, restored to native vegetation, or maintained in crop production if approved by the Plan Commission. Mulch of plantings or planting beds is acceptable provided that such mulching consists of organic or natural materials. Mulches shall be installed so that they will not erode, fall, be plowed or otherwise transported into walks, drives, streets or other hard surfaced portions of the site.
(7) The following are exempt from the landscape requirements in (1), (2), and (3) above.
a. Single family dwellings.
b. Two family dwellings.
c. All development in the Downtown Mixed Use district.
d. Farm buildings.
(8) The following is exempt from the landscape requirements in Sec. 18-133 (1) and (2) above.
a. Development in the Light Industrial and General Industrial Districts when not adjoining residential or commercial zoned property.
Figure 18-133(a): Landscaping Requirements
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Figure 18-133(b): Required bufferyard opacity values
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Figure 18-133(c): Detailed Bufferyard Requirements
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Figure 18-133(d): Landscaping Points
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(Code 1982, § 17.17(3))
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