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Section 1207.04    Landscaping/Buffering

  1. Purpose
    The purpose of these regulations is to provide minimum standards involving the
    development of land to provide attractive views from roads and adjacent properties;
    to screen from view visually unattractive uses; to require screening between
    incompatible land uses and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the
    community through the reduction of noise, air and visual pollution, and headlight

  2. Applicability
    1. New Property Development
      Landscaping requirements shall apply to all new property development,
      except bufferyard requirements shall not apply to individual single family
      dwellings and parking lots of five (5) spaces or smaller.

    2. Collective Substantial Expansion of Existing Buildings
      Landscaping requirements shall apply to any collective substantial expansion
      of existing buildings, other than individual single family dwellings, and as
      further excepted as follows. Bufferyards (Sections 1207.04(d-h) and
      perimeter parking lot landscaping (Section 1207.04(m)(3)) are required only
      to the extent that the site improvement is visible from roads or adjacent
      property, but that bufferyards shall not be required for parking lots of five (5)
      spaces or fewer. General landscaping (Section 1207.04(j)), landscaping in
      the front yard and front setback (Section 1207.04(l)), and landscaping for
      parking lot islands (Section 1207.04(m)(2)) will be based proportionately on
      the area of the footprint of the improvement, not the area of the total resulting
      building footprint. Substantial expansion of existing buildings shall be
      defined based on the criteria established below:

    3. Improvements Other Than New Property Development or Collective
      Substantial Expansions of Existing Structures
      Bufferyard and landscaping requirements shall not apply to improvements
      that are not new property development or collective substantial expansions of
      existing structures, except as follows. Perimeter parking lot landscaping
      (Section 1207.04(m)(3) and screening/landscaping for service structures
      (Section 1207.04(n)) are required only to the extent that the site improvement
      is visible from roads or adjacent property. Landscaping for parking lot
      islands (1207.04(m)(2) will be based proportionately on the area of the
      footprint of the improvement, not the area of the total resulting footprint. In
      no case shall bufferyard requirements apply to individual single family
      dwellings and parking lots of five (5) spaces or smaller.

  3. Plan Review
    For any bufferyard or landscaping required in this Code, the applicant shall submit a
    landscape plan to the City Manager for approval as part of the Site Plan Review
    process or Subdivision Review process. Landscape plans shall be prepared by a
    landscape design professional practicing within their areas of competence, except
    that the City Manager may waive this requirement for individual single family
    dwellings. Refer to Appendix A for landscape plan submittal requirements.

  4. Bufferyards
    Bufferyards shall be required around the boundary of all new developments to
    separate adjacent incompatible land uses and screen and soften the detrimental
    impacts of incompatible uses upon one another and upon the surrounding property
    line. Boundary bufferyards may vary in width depending on site conditions and on
    the level of screening required for line of sight, noise suppression, or other nuisance
    related purpose.

  5. General Standards for Bufferyards
    1. Responsibility for Installation of Buffer. Boundary and streetscape buffer
      areas shall be provided by the person in charge of or in control of developing
      the property whether as owner, lessee, tenant, occupant, or otherwise
      (hereinafter referred to as "Owner").

    2. Location:
      1. Boundary buffers shall be located along the rear and side boundaries
        of a lot or parcel. On sloped areas the boundary buffer should be
        located to maximize its screening effectiveness.
      2. Streetscape buffers shall be located along, but outside of, the public
        right-of-way and may be required along private street easements.

    3. Structures Within Required Buffer. No structure shall be permitted within a
      required buffer other than a wall, fence, or earth berm. A driveway in the
      side yard that connects a paving area on the lot to the street shall not
      encroach into the boundary buffer area.

    4. Level of Bufferyard Required:
      1. The bufferyards illustrated in subsection (g) below depict the total
        bufferyard required to be erected by the higher intensity use when it
        is being located next to the same or lower intensity use.
      2. When a use is proposed to be developed adjacent to a higher intensity
        use existing as of the effective date of this ordinance, it shall be
        required to plant a minimum Level B Bufferyard.
      3. The land use class of a vacant adjoining parcel shall be classified as
        the lowest intensity use permitted in the existing zone district.

    5. Hierarchy of Land Use Intensities. For purposes of this section, the
      following is a listing of land uses from highest intensity (A) to lowest
      intensity (I):
      1. Industrial
      2. General Agricultural Land Use
      3. Retail Commercial
      4. Institutional/Civic
      5. Office Commercial
      6. Village Core Non-Residential Land Uses
      7. Multi-Family Residential
      8. Single Family Residential Open Space Conservation Subdivision
      9. Single Family Residential Conventional

    6. Adjacent Parcels. When adjacent parcels are being developed, the required
      buffer shall be placed on each parcel being developed. However, a buffer
      that meets the requirement of both parcels may be placed astride the
      boundary if a written agreement, signed by both owners, is filed with the City
      Manager, is recorded in the real estate property records of the County and
      runs with the property.

    7. Bufferyard Establishment. Once a bufferyard has been approved by the
      Planning Commission and established by the owner, it may not be used,
      disturbed, or altered for any purpose.

  6. Determination of Bufferyard Type
    A number of bufferyard requirements for new development are specified in various
    sections of this Code. Where no bufferyard standard is specified, the determination
    of the appropriate type of bufferyard required between two adjacent parcels is made
    by the following procedure:
    1. Identify the land use of the proposed development property; and

    2. Identify the adjacent land use(s).

    3. Identify the bufferyard type by referring to Table 1 on next page.

    4. Bufferyard Increases Based on Height of Non-Residential Buildings. When a
      non-residential building is developed adjacent to an existing residential use
      or residential lot, the required boundary bufferyard between the nonresidential
      development and the residential use shall be increased according
      to the following table:

  7. Bufferyard Type Requirements
    1. The application of bufferyard requirements must be flexible. A single
      standard applied to all uses can impose unnecessary hardship to landowners
      in certain instances and lead to monotonous landscapes in others. In order to
      provide a level of flexibility, a developer may choose from several widths
      and planting options within each type of bufferyard as provided in this

    2. Bufferyard Type. The type and extent of bufferyard plantings or screening
      shall be a function of the degree of potential incompatibility of the adjacent
      land uses as set forth in Table 1 above.
      1. Bufferyard A - Minimal: Minimum bufferyard width five (5) feet.
        [See Figure 10].
      2. Bufferyard B - Minor: Minimum bufferyard width ten (10) feet. (See
        Figure 11.)
      3. Bufferyard C - Moderate: Minimum bufferyard width fifteen (15)
        feet. (See Figure 12.)
      4. Bufferyard D - Substantial: Minimum bufferyard width twenty-five
        (25) feet. (See Figure 13.)
      5. Bufferyard E - Major: Minimum bufferyard width forty (40) feet.
        (See Figure 14.)

    3. Bufferyard Width. Each bufferyard has five width options. As width
      increases, the number of plantings per 100 foot length decreases by a given
      factor referred to as the Plant Unit Multiplier. A Plant Unit Multiplier of one
      (1) is used for the minimum width of each bufferyard. The minimum width
      can be reduced, in certain instances, by using fences/ walls within the
      bufferyard As illustrated below. An earth berm of the same height may be
      substituted for a fence or wall as illustrated on the following pages. When a
      bufferyard is required in addition to perimeter landscaping of parking of
      Section 1207.04(m), the required bufferyard may be satisfied concurrently
      with the requirements of 1207.04(m) by the more intensive planting and the
      more extensive width required by either this subsection or subsection

  8. Bufferyard Fences and Earth Berms
    Bufferyards C, D, and E include the optional use of fences or earth berms as part of
    the bufferyard requirements. For all Bufferyards A- E, where the minimum
    bufferyard distance width is being met, if a 4-6 foot earth berm or a 4-6 foot fence or
    wall is installed as part of the bufferyard, then the required bufferyard plant material
    may be reduced by no more than 15%. This 15% reduction is in addition to other
    allowable reductions in plant material due to increasing the minimum bufferyard
    width, as illustrated in Section 1207.04(g), "Bufferyard Requirements" above.

  9. Street Tree Planting Requirements
    The planting of street trees shall be required at the time a parcel is developed or
    redeveloped and final landscape grade is completed in all zoning districts, and in
    accordance with the following regulations. The following are requirements for the
    planting of street trees within the street right-of-way unless drainage ditches prohibit
    adequate planting area, then street trees shall be planted on private land adjacent to
    the right-of-way..
    1. All developers shall plant trees along public streets of their developments in
      such a manner, type, quantity and location as set forth below. Any
      undeveloped street or existing street with undeveloped frontage shall
      conform to these requirements at the time of the development. See Appendix
      C for Plant List of acceptable trees and plants. For purposes of this section,
      trees shall be defined by mature heights they reach as indicated by the
      following: large - sixty (60) feet and taller, medium - up to forty (40) feet,
      and small - up to twenty (20) feet.
      1. The minimum spacing between trees shall be 40 feet for large trees,
        30 feet for medium trees, and 20 feet for small trees.
      2. The maximum spacing between trees shall be 50 feet for large trees,
        40 feet for medium trees, and 30 feet for small trees.
      3. The minimum distance between the edge of the mature tree and the
        edge of the street shall be 6 feet for a large tree, 4 feet for medium,
        and small trees.
      4. The tree location shall be at least 30 feet from an existing stop sign or
        from the standard location of a stop sign at street intersections and ten
        feet from fire hydrants and utility poles.
      5. A small tree shall be used when planting under or within ten lateral
        feet of overhead utility wires. A medium tree shall be used when
        planting within 20 lateral feet of overhead utility wires.
      6. The developers shall be required to maintain the trees for two years
        after the trees are planted and to replace any tree which fails to
        survive or does not exhibit normal growth characteristics of health
        and vigor within such two-year period. A two-year guarantee period
        shall begin at each planting and shall recommence as trees are
        replaced. Upon completion of a street tree planting, the landscape
        contractor shall contact the City Community Development Staff for a
        preliminary inspection. The guarantee period shall begin after the
        approval of the City Community Development Staff. A final
        inspection shall be made at the end of the guarantee period. All trees
        not exhibiting a healthy, vigorous growing condition, as determined
        by the city's inspection, shall promptly be replaced at the expense of
        the developer.

  10. General Landscaping
    These requirements are in addition to the landscaping requirements and the street
    tree requirements set out in Section 1207.04.
    1. Residential Landscaping Requirements:
      1. All residential lots shall be planted with a minimum of three (3) trees
        with a minimum diameter at breast height (DBH) of 1: inches. Any
        single-family detached lot shall have at least one (1) of the required
        trees located in the front yard, or on the south or west side of the
        house for effective summer cooling, or in the case of a corner lot, in
        the front yard or the side yard facing the street. Existing trees
        properly preserved within the limits of disturbance of equal or larger
        DBH will satisfy this requirement. (See subsection (t), Landscaping
        Credits below).
      2. For any residential development with attached or multi-family
        buildings, two trees, with a minimum DBH of 1: inches, shall be
        planted for each unit on individual lots, if provided, or within the
        Open Space Area(s). Existing trees, of equal or larger DBH, if
        properly preserved, will satisfy this requirement.

    2. Non-Residential Landscaping Requirements:
      In all institutional, commercial, and industrial developments: one (1) tree
      shall be planted of a minimum two (2) inches DBH shall be planted for
      every 2,000 square feet of gross area of building footprint or fraction thereof.
      Existing trees properly preserved within or outside of the limits of
      disturbance, of equal or greater DBH, will satisfy this requirement.

  11. Landscaping Requirements for Front Yard/Front Setbacks
    1. Uses Fronting on Arterials:
      Except in District 5 and 9, landscaped buffers shall be required within the
      front yard setback area of all uses fronting an arterial street. The landscaped
      buffer shall meet the following standards:
      1. The minimum width of the bufferyard shall be 50 feet, except that
        residential open space conservation subdivision lots fronting an
        arterial street shall establish a landscaped bufferyard with a minimum
        width of 100 feet unless the Planning Commission determines that a
        less wide bufferyard is compatible with existing development
        patterns in the surrounding community. (See Section 1207.06).
      2. Plantings for every 100 feet of bufferyard length: four (4) small trees
        and two (2) large or medium trees from the Tree Plant List.
        (Appendix C)
      3. Trees shall be planted in a random pattern, interspersing sizes of trees
        Large, Medium, and Small (see Appendix C for Large, Medium and
        Small Tree Plant List).
      4. Only the native plant species for each of these categories of trees as
        set forth in Appendix C shall be utilized.

    2. Non-Residential Uses Fronting Non-Arterial Roadways:
      In all non-residential developments fronting non-arterial streets, at least 10%
      of the total front yard area adjacent to the public or private street shall be
      landscaped with a mixture of trees, shrubs, planting beds and/or perennials.

  12. Landscaping for Parking Lots
    1. General Requirements:
      1. Parking lots containing more than 6,000 square feet of area or 20 or
        more vehicular parking spaces, whichever is less, shall provide
        interior landscaping of the peninsular or island types of uncompacted,
        well-drained soil that contains a minimum of 6 inches of top soil mix,
        as well as perimeter landscaping.
      2. All parking lots shall provide perimeter landscaping.

    2. Interior Landscape Requirements for Parking Lots:
      1. For every ten (10) parking spaces or fraction thereof, the applicant
        shall provide not less than one hundred sixty (160) square feet of
        interior landscaped parking lot areas containing at least one tree with
        a minimum DBH of 2 inches and 4 shrubs. (See Figure 15.)
      2. The minimum landscape area permitted shall be 160 sq. ft. with a
        minimum planting width of 9 feet.
      3. Maximum contiguous area. In order to encourage the required
        landscape areas to be properly dispersed, and to break up large
        expanses of parking, no individual landscape area shall be larger than
        500 square feet in size in vehicular use areas less than 30,000 square
        feet and no individual area shall be larger than 2,000 square feet in
        vehicular use areas over 30,000 square feet. Individual landscape
        areas larger than above are permitted as long as the additional area is
        in excess of the required minimum total.

    3. Perimeter Landscaping for Parking Lots:
      1. Parking lots shall have perimeer landscaping of a minimum width of ten (10) feet exclusive of vehicle overhang. (See Figure 16.)
      2. This perimeter landscaping shall contain sufficient plant material that will achieve an effective, opaque screen of a height of at least three feet within (2) years of installation. The perimeter buffer zone shall also contain deciduous trees and allow adequate snow storage area.
      3. When perimeter landscaping of parking lots is required even in addition to a
        bufferyard of Section 1207.04(g), the required perimeter landscaping of parking may
        be satisfied concurrently with the requirements of 1207.04(g) by the more intensive
        planting and the more extensive width required by either this subsection or
        subsection 1207.04(g).

    4. Vehicle Overhang

      1. Parked vehicles may hang over the interior landscaped area no more
        than two and one-half feet. Concrete or other wheel stops shall be
        provided to ensure no greater overhang on the landscaped area. (See
        Figure 17.)
      2. Where parked vehicles will overhang a four-foot minimum spacing
        shall be provided from edge of pavement to all trees. (See Figure 17.)

    5. Ground Cover: Grass or ground cover shall be planted on all portions of the
      required landscaping area not occupied by other landscape material. Such
      material fulfills required interior or perimeter landscaping.

  13. Screening and Landscaping for Service Structures
    Service structures shall include but not be limited to propane tanks, dumpsters,
    electrical transformers, utility vaults which extend above the surface, electrical and
    other equipment or elements providing service to a building or a site. Service
    structures may be grouped together.
    1. Location of screening. Either a solid, opaque fence or wall or earth berm,
      with a continuous planting of evergreen plant material shall enclose any
      service structure on all sides, unless such structure must be frequently
      accessed in which case screening on all but one side is required. The average
      height of the screening fence or wall shall be one foot more than the height of
      the enclosed structure, but shall not exceed the maximum permitted height of
      fences and walls of the District. For additional screening requirements for
      screening/landscaping required for vehicle loading, See Section 1207.13(s),
      for industrial uses, see Section 1207.18(c), Industrial Design Guidelines.

    2. Mechanical equipment and service functions associated with a building shall,
      to the maximum extent feasible, be incorporated into the overall design
      theme of the building and the landscape so that these functions are out of
      view from public ways and adjacent properties while allowing convenient

    3. Plant material required for screening of service structures shall not count
      towards the fulfillment of other landscape requirements in this Section. No
      interior landscaping shall be required within an area screened for service

    4. Curbs to protect plant material. Whenever plant material is placed around
      any trash disposal unit or waste collection unit which is emptied or removed
      mechanically on a regular basis, a curb to contain the placement of the
      container shall be provided adjacent to the plant material. The curbing shall
      be at least one foot from the material and shall be designed to prevent
      possible damage to the plant material when the container is moved or

  14. Approval
    1. No site plan, subdivision plat, or other development plan required under this
      Code shall receive final approval unless a landscaping plan meeting the
      requirements of this Section has been submitted and approved.

    2. No certificate of zoning compliance shall be issued unless the following
      criteria are fully satisfied with regard to the approved landscaping plan:
      1. Such plan has been fully implemented on the site and inspected by
        the City Community Development Staff, or
      2. Such plan has been guaranteed by an improvement agreement
        between the developer and the City in a form acceptable to the City
        Solicitor and secured by a letter of credit, cash escrow, or other
        instrument acceptable to the City Solicitor, in an amount equal to
        110% of the cost of such installation. See also Section 1208.15(b),
        "Performance Guarantees."

  15. Timing of Installation
    Landscaping and bufferyards shall be installed within six months of the completion
    of construction.

  16. Landscaping Materials and Specifications
    Existing vegetation shall be preserved in accordance with Section 1207.02, "Tree
    and Vegetation Protection," and may be credited towards landscaping requirements
    as set forth below.
    1. The following items are suitable for screening uses individually or in
      combination with each other provided they create an opaque screen, subject
      to review and approval by the Planning Commission. Nursery stock
      identification tags shall not be removed from any planting prior to final
      inspection and approval of installation by the City.
      1. Walls and Fences
        When walls or fences are used to fulfill screening requirements, they
        shall be detailed on the landscaping plan. They are to be of weatherproof
        materials. This includes pressure treating or painting of lumber
        if it is not redwood or cedar and using aluminum or galvanized
        hardware. Chain link fences with or without wooded or synthetic slat
        material shall not be allowed to satisfy bufferyard C and landscaping
      2. Plants
        All plants are to be living and part of the acceptable plants list
        identified in Appendix C. All specifications for the specimen quality
        and installation of trees and shrubs shall be in accordance with the
        most recent edition of "American Standards for Nursery Stock"
        published by the American Association of Nurserymen. Trees shall
        be balled and burlapped or in containers. Shrubs, vines, and ground
        covers can be planted as bare root as well as balled and burlapped or
        1. Deciduous Trees. Large/medium sized deciduous trees shall
          have a minimum DBH of at least 2 inches when installed at
          the time of planting. Small sized deciduous trees shall have a
          minimum DBH of at least 13 when planted. If deciduous
          trees are to be used for screening purposes, additional
          materials, including fences/walls or earth berms, must be used
          to create an opaque buffer.
        2. Evergreen Trees. Evergreen trees shall be a minimum of 6
          feet in height at the time of planting. If used for screening,
          evergreen plantings shall be designed to provide an effective,
          opaque screen within 4 years of planting.
        3. Shrubs and Hedges. Shrubs and hedges shall be at least 18
          inches in height or 24 inches in spread at the time of planting.
          If used for screening, all shrubs and hedges shall be designed
          to provide an effective, opaque screen within 4 years after
        4. Grass or Ground Cover. Grass of the Fescus (Gramineak) or
          Bluegrass (Poaceae) family shall be planted in species
          normally grown as permanent lawns in Summit County. In
          swales or other areas subject to erosion, solid sod, erosion
          reducing net, or suitable mulch shall be used and nursegrass
          seed shall be sown for immediate protection until complete
          coverage otherwise is achieved. Grass sod shall be clean and
          free of weeds and noxious pests or diseases. Ground cover
          shall be planted in such a manner as to provide 75% complete
          coverage after two growing seasons.

    2. Earth Berms
      Earth berms may be used as physical barriers which block or screen an
      unattractive view. Differences in elevation between areas requiring
      screening does not constitute an earth berm. Earth berms shall be
      constructed of earthen materials and shall conform to the following
      1. The maximum side slope shall be three horizontal to one vertical
        (3:1) and the design shall be reviewed by the City Manager to ensure
        that proper erosion prevention and control practices have been
      2. Berms shall be designed with physical variations in height and
        alignment throughout their length.
      3. Landscape plant material installed on berms shall be arranged in an
        irregular pattern to accentuate the physical variation and achieve a
        natural appearance.
      4. The landscape plan shall show sufficient detail, including a plan and
        profile of the earth berm, soil types, and construction techniques to
        demonstrate compliance with the above provisions.
      5. Berms shall be located and designed to minimize the disturbance to
        existing trees located on the site or adjacent thereto.
      6. No part of any earth berm which is elevated more than eighteen
        inches (18") above natural grade shall be located within ten feet (10')
        of any right-of-way or property line.
      7. Grass or ground cover shall be used and maintained to prevent
        erosion of the earth berm.
      8. No berm shall be left unvegetated with appropriate ground cover,
        mulch, turf grass or other suitable landscape material longer than one
        planting season after completion of construction.
      9. Natural surface drainage patterns shall not be adversely affected by
        construction of berms.
      10. No berm shall be used to allow a fence to exceed the maximum
        allowed height of a fence as measured from the natural grade of land
        without the berm.

  17. Maintenance of Landscaping and Bufferyards
    1. All landscaping materials shall be installed and maintained according to
      accepted nursery industry procedures. Such maintenance shall include all
      actions necessary to keep plantings healthy and orderly in appearance and to
      keep walls, fences, and berms in good repair and neat appearance.

    2. Any landscape material that fails to meet the minimum requirements of this
      Section at the time of installation shall be removed and replaced with
      acceptable materials. All unhealthy or dead plant material shall be replaced
      within two years.

  18. Conflicts in Requirements
    When an activity or land use falls under more than one of the bufferyard or
    landscaping requirements as listed in this Code, the most stringent of the
    requirements shall be applied.

  19. Clear Sight Triangles
    To insure that landscape materials do not constitute a driving hazard, a "clear sight
    triangle" shall be observed at all street and access drive intersections. Ground cover
    and trees with at least eight feet of limbless trunk shall be permitted within the sight
    distance triangle. In the case of a city street intersection, the sight triangle shall
    consist of the area between points twenty feet (20') along both intersecting streets
    from their respective edge of pavements. See Figure 18.

  20. Landscaping Credits
    The purpose of landscaping credits is to provide for the opportunity to protect and
    preserve existing trees and established plant material.
    1. Trees
      Credit may be given for preservation of existing Large/Medium/Small
      Deciduous and Evergreen Trees as follows:
      1. Existing healthy trees may be preserved and used to fulfill landscape
        requirements for any required planting provided they are in
        accordance with the standards set forth in this section.
      2. Trees may be credited only one time towards any one bufferyard,
        screen, or other landscape requirements set forth in this section and
        other related sections. Trees must be located within the required
        landscape area in order to be credited.
      3. Trees that conform to these standards and are proposed to be used for
        credit shall have location, species, and DBH or height indicated on
        the required landscape plan.
      4. Trees shall be credited according to the following criteria in the
        quantities shown:
      5. The landscape plan shall indicate the quantities of trees credited and
        illustrate the required surrounding landscape area for each tree
      6. If any preserved tree dies within 2 years, one tree of similar size and
        species shall be replaced for each tree credited against such a
        preserved tree.

    2. Shrubs
      Shrubs may be credited on a one-to-one basis towards landscape material
      requirements if the following criteria are met:
      1. Existing healthy shrubs may be used to fulfill landscape requirements
        for any required planting provided they conform to the standards set
        forth in this section.
      2. Shrubs may be credited only one time towards any one required
        bufferyard, or screen.
      3. Shrubs that conform to these standards and are proposed to be used
        for credit shall have location, species, and height indicated on the
        required landscape plan.
      4. If any shrub used for credit dies within one year of plan approval, one
        shrub of similar size and species shall be replaced for each shrub