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5-6   LANDSCAPING, BUFFERING, AND SCREENING
   5-6(A)   PURPOSE
   This Section 14-16-5-6 regulates landscaping to ensure visually attractive, sustainable desert landscapes that aid in the creation of a quality public realm. The City recognizes landscape as a visual component to quality environments that enhance Albuquerque’s overall appearance and provide other public benefit through:
   5-6(A)(1)   Providing visual relief from urbanization.
   5-6(A)(2)   Establishing a consistent, attractive streetscape that generates a sense of continuity and a strong, positive city image.
   5-6(A)(3)   Improving the aesthetic appearance of commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential development to protect and enhance public and private investments and property values.
   5-6(A)(4)   Ensuring the use of native and/or adapted, low water-use, or xeric species and regionally appropriate, sustainable design and maintenance techniques to conserve water resources.
   5-6(A)(5)   Contributing to the processes of air purification, oxygen regeneration, groundwater recharge, and stormwater runoff retention. Landscape should be designed to retain soil moisture, prevent erosion, encourage the growth of abutting plantings, and mitigate urban heat-island effects, while aiding in the abatement of air and water pollution, dust, noise, heat, and glare.
   5-6(A)(6)   Providing screening of some types of facilities, structures, and equipment.
   5-6(A)(7)   Providing shade and comfort for pedestrians and visually narrowing streets, which has been shown to reduce vehicle speeding and accidents.
5-6(B)   APPLICABILITY
   The provisions of this Section 14-16-5-6 shall apply to all of the following, unless exempted by another portion of this IDO:
   5-6(B)(1)   Construction of a new building containing multi-family, mixed-use, or non-residential development or an accessory parking structure.
   5-6(B)(2)   Construction of a new parking lot containing 25 or more spaces, or expansion of an existing parking lot by 25 spaces or more.
   5-6(B)(3)   Expansion of the gross floor area of an existing building containing multi-family, mixed-use, or non-residential development by 2,500 square feet or more, or 25 percent or more, whichever is less.
   5-6(B)(4)   Renovation or redevelopment of an existing building containing multi-family, mixed-use, or non-residential development, including but not limited to reconstruction after fire, flood, or other damage, where the value of the renovation or redevelopment, indicated by building permits, is $500,000 or more.
   5-6(B)(5)   In the case of walls provided for buffering or screening requirements with conflicting standards in this Section 14-16-5-6, Section 14-16-5-5 (Parking and Loading), and Section 14-16-5-9 (Neighborhood Edges), the highest specified wall height allowance prevails.
   5-6(B)(6)   Requirements for walls provided to meet buffering and screening requirements prevail over maximum wall height regulations in Section 14-16-5-7 (Walls and Fences), but shall be subject to any other applicable material and design requirements in Subsection 14-16-5-7(E).
5-6(C)   GENERAL LANDSCAPING STANDARDS
   The following standards apply to all landscaping, screening, or buffering required by this Section 14-16-5-6.
   5-6(C)(1)   Landscape Plan Required
   A landscape plan with designed landscaped areas shall be submitted as a part of all development applications where landscaping, buffering, or screening is required, unless the relevant decision-making body determines that compliance with the provisions of this Section 14-16-5-6 can be demonstrated without the use of a landscape plan. A landscape plan may be combined with other required application materials if compliance with this Section 14-16-5-6 can be demonstrated in the combined materials. Landscaping shall be maintained pursuant to the requirements of Subsection 14-16-5-13(B)(6). 220
   5-6(C)(2)   Minimum Landscape Area
   5-6(C)(2)(a)   Except as noted in Subsection (b) below, a minimum of 15 percent of the net lot area of each development shall contain landscaping. (See figure below.)
 
   5-6(C)(2)(b)   In DT-UC-MS-PT areas, a minimum of 10 percent of the net lot area of each development shall contain landscaping. In these areas, landscaping required to meet this requirement need not be at ground level. (See figure below.)
 
   5-6(C)(2)(c)   The mature realistic spread of trees and shrubs will be used to calculate required vegetative coverage as follows:
      1.   Tree canopies and ground-level plants shall cover a minimum of 75 percent of the total landscape area as measured by canopy width or the area beneath the dripline of the mature size of the actual vegetation. (See figure below.)
      2.   Of the required vegetative coverage, a minimum of 25 percent shall be provided as ground-level plants (shrubs, grasses, etc.) as measured of the mature size of the actual vegetation. (See figure below.)
 
   5-6(C)(2)(d)   See also Subsections 14-16-5-6(D) (Street Frontage Landscaping), 14-16-5-6(E) (Edge Buffer Landscaping), and 14-16-5-6(F) (Parking Lot Landscaping) for additional landscaping requirements.
   5-6(C)(3)   Overlapping Requirements
   5-6(C)(3)(a)   If areas required to be landscaped by 2 or more provisions of this Section 14-16-5-6 overlap each other, the provision requiring the greater amount of landscaping shall apply, and landscaping provided that meets the greater requirement shall count toward fulfilling the overlapping requirements.
      1.   See Subsection 14-16-5-6(C)(12) (Existing Vegetation Credit).
      2.   See Subsection 14-16-5-6(C)(13) (Stormwater Management Features).
      3.   See Subsection 14-16-5-6(D) (Street Frontage Landscaping).
      4.   See Subsection 14-16-5-6(E) (Edge Buffer Landscaping).
      5.   See Subsection 14-16-5-6(F) (Parking Lot Landscaping).
   5-6(C)(3)(b)   Landscaped areas may count toward satisfying usable open space requirements specified for Residential zone districts in Table 5-1-1 and for Mixed-use zone districts in Table 5-1-2.
   5-6(C)(3)(c)   Gardens and community gardens provided may count toward satisfying the requirements of Subsection 14-16-5-6(C)(2) (Minimum Landscape Area).
   5-6(C)(3)(d)   Any landscaping provided to meet requirements in Subsection 14-16-5-2(J) (Major Arroyo Standards) may count toward any required landscaping in this Section 14-16-5-6 but shall be subject to Subsection 14-16-5-6(C) (General Landscaping Standards).
   5-6(C)(3)(e)   Any covered or uncovered outdoor seating and gathering areas provided to meet requirements in Subsection 14-16-5-11(E)(3) (Outdoor Seating and Gathering Areas) may count toward up to 1/3 of required landscaping in Section 14-16-5-6 but shall be subject to standards in Subsection 14-16-5-6(C) (General Landscaping Standards).
   5-6(C)(4)   Required Plant Materials and Site Amenities
   5-6(C)(4)(a)   A minimum of 5 species must be used in the landscaped area.
   5-6(C)(4)(b)   Only trees and shrubs selected from the Official Albuquerque Plant Palette of low water use, drought tolerant, or xeric species and shown on a landscape plan can count toward the requirements of this Subsection 14-16-5-6(C) (General Landscaping Standards), except that, upon presentation of evidence, the relevant decision-making body may authorize alternative species or cultivars that meet all of the following requirements:
      1.   Meet the intended purpose of that type of landscaping.
      2.   Are not hazardous.
      3.   Are not identified as invasive on a City or State plant list.
      4.   Are not listed in the City’s Weed Identification Handbook.
      5.   Are equally hardy to the New Mexico climate.
   5-6(C)(4)(c)   Installation of any trees, shrubs, or other vegetation included in a State list of prohibited or invasive species or listed as noxious weeds in the City’s Weed Identification Handbook is prohibited.
   5-6(C)(4)(d)   No more than 10 percent of required landscape areas shall be cool season grass species. Irrigated cool season grass shall not be planted on slopes exceeding 1:4 rise:run or planted in narrow or irregularly shaped areas (10 feet or less in any dimension) in order to avoid water waste. Any cool season grass shall be installed at least 3 feet in any direction from any non-permeable hard surface. (A buffer using mulch can be used when planting cool season grass adjacent to non-permeable surface.) 221 222
   5-6(C)(4)(e)   Landscaping abutting arroyos shall consist of native plants that are included on the Official Albuquerque Plant Palette. 223
   5-6(C)(4)(f)   Artificial turf/grass shall not be counted as living vegetative material or to meet the requirements of this Subsection 14-16-5-6(C) (General Landscaping Standards).
   5-6(C)(4)(g)   All vegetation shall comply with Article 9-12 and Parts 6-1-1 and 6-6-2 of ROA 1994 (Pollen Control, Water Conservation Landscaping and Water Waste, and Street Trees) and Section 4 of the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Authority (ABCWUA) Legislation and Ordinances (Water Waste Reduction Ordinance) as applicable.
   5-6(C)(4)(h)   All required plant materials shall be free of disease and insects and shall conform to the American Standard for Nursery Stock (ASNA) of the American Nursery and Landscape Association.
   5-6(C)(4)(i)   Shade trees planted approximately 25 feet on-center are required along all required pedestrian walkways. If the walkway is less than 25 feet long, at least one tree is required, or, where there is insufficient space for a tree, a trellis of at least 8 feet high for at least 5 feet along the walkway shall be provided.
   5-6(C)(4)(j)   In DT-UC-MS areas, landscaped areas other than street frontage shall include pedestrian furniture, pedestrian amenities, or trash receptacles to encourage pedestrian use.
   5-6(C)(4)(k)   See also Subsection 14-16-5-6(D) (Street Frontage Landscaping) for additional landscaping requirements.
   5-6(C)(5)   Soil Condition and Planting Beds
   5-6(C)(5)(a)   All vegetated material required by this Section 14-16-5-6 shall be planted in uncompacted soil.
   5-6(C)(5)(b)   If used, weed barriers shall be permeable to optimize stormwater infiltration and prevent runoff.
   5-6(C)(5)(c)   The use of gravel or crusher fines as ground cover is limited to a maximum of 75 percent of any landscaped area, or 50 percent in DT-UC-MS areas.
   5-6(C)(5)(d)   A minimum of 2 inches of mulch is required in all planting areas, with 3-4 inches recommended. (See figure below.)
   5-6(C)(5)(e)   Organic mulch is required as ground cover under trees within a 5-foot radius around the tree trunk, but not directly against the trunk. In these areas, weed barrier fabric is prohibited. (See figure below.)
 
   5-6(C)(5)(f)   All landscaped areas shall be protected from vehicular encroachment by curbs or wheel stops located 2 feet outside the landscaped area, with openings to accommodate surface collection of stormwater runoff in vegetated swales and stormwater infiltration areas.
   5-6(C)(6)   Minimum Plant Sizes at Installation
   All vegetation required by this Section 14-16-5-6 shall meet the minimum size requirements in Table 5-6-1 unless specified otherwise in this IDO.
Table 5-6-1: Minimum Plant Sizes
Plant material type (ANSI types)
Minimum size
Table 5-6-1: Minimum Plant Sizes
Plant material type (ANSI types)
Minimum size
Deciduous Street Trees
2 in. caliper 6 in. above grade
Deciduous Accent Trees
1.5 in. caliper 6 in. above grade or 6 ft. in height
Evergreen Tree
6 ft. in height
Multi-trunk Tree
Minimum 2 trunks with a combined caliper of 2 in.
Shrubs
1 gallon container size
Ground cover and turf
Adequate to provide general ground cover within 1 growing season after planting
 
   5-6(C)(7)   Plant Material Spacing
   5-6(C)(7)(a)   Vegetation required by this Section 14-16-5-6 shall be located at least 3 feet in any direction from any fire hydrants, valve vaults, hose bibs, manholes, hydrants, and fire department connections.
   5-6(C)(7)(b)   Where tree planting requirements are based on the length of the street frontage, areas occupied by driveways and drive aisles shall be included when calculating the number of trees required to be planted, and all trees that would otherwise be required in driveways or drive aisles shall be planted in other landscaped front yard areas.
   5-6(C)(7)(c)   The Planning Director may authorize adjustments to any spacing requirements when required due to topography, drainage, utilities or obstructions, provided that the total amount of required landscaping is not reduced.
   5-6(C)(8)   Protecting Clear Sight Triangle
   The clear sight triangle shall be maintained at all exits of parking areas and street intersections.
   5-6(C)(9)   Planting in or over the Public Right-of-way
   5-6(C)(9)(a)   All planting of vegetated material or installation of any landscaping, buffering, or screening material in the public right-of-way shall require the prior approval of the City. The property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance, repairs, or liability for all the landscaping placed in or over the public right-of-way.
   5-6(C)(9)(b)   Any trees that overhang a public sidewalk or Major Public Open Space shall be trimmed to maintain an 8 foot clearance over the sidewalk. Any trees that overhang a public street shall be trimmed to maintain a 9 foot clearance over the street surface.
   5-6(C)(9)(c)   Where landscaping is installed in the public right-of-way, the applicant shall install an adequate irrigation system that meets the minimum technical requirements In Article 6-6 of ROA 1994 (Trees, Vegetation and Landscaping) and the DPM, with a separate meter for the landscape area in the public right-of-way, or a separate valve(s) at the property line allowing isolation of the irrigation to the landscape within the public right-of-way. Drip irrigation systems and artificial turf shall not be allowed within the public right-of-way.
   5-6(C)(10)   Planting near Utilities
   5-6(C)(10)(a)   Trees and shrubs shall not be planted in utility easements unless there is no other practicable location on the lot where the landscaping would achieve its intended purpose. The Planning Director may adjust the location of required landscaping to avoid utility easements, provided that the total amount of landscaping and buffering required is not reduced.
   5-6(C)(10)(b)   Trees shall not be planted within 10 feet in any direction of the centerline of a sewer or water line. (See figure below.) 224
 
   5-6(C)(10)(c)   Trees or shrubs planted within utility easements shall comply with the standards of the utility provider to minimize effects on facilities maintenance and repair.
   5-6(C)(10)(d)   If overhead distribution electric lines are present and large trees cannot be planted due to potential interferences with the electric lines, one ornamental tree with a mature height of 12 feet shall be planted per 20 feet of street frontage. New trees planted near electric transmission lines shall be no taller than 25 feet in height at maturity to avoid conflicts with existing electric facilities.
   5-6(C)(10)(e)   All screening and vegetation surrounding ground-mounted transformers and utility pads must allow 10 feet of clearance for access and to ensure the safety of the work crews and public during maintenance and repair.
   5-6(C)(10)(f)   Trees shall not be planted near existing or proposed street light poles.
   5-6(C)(10)(g)   Standards in the DPM may apply to tree planting in or near other utility easements, such as gas lines.
   5-6(C)(11)   Parking on Landscaped Areas Prohibited
   Parking of automobiles, trucks, trailers, boats, recreational vehicles, or other motor vehicles is prohibited on any required landscape or buffer area.
   5-6(C)(12)   Existing Vegetation Credit
   5-6(C)(12)(a)   If existing non-prohibited vegetation meets the location requirements and intent of landscaping, buffering, or screening required by this Section 14-16-5-6, that existing vegetation may be credited toward the landscaping, buffering, or screening materials required by this Section 14-16-5-6.
   5-6(C)(12)(b)   All existing vegetation preserved and used for credit against the requirements for new vegetation shall be protected during construction by a fence erected one foot beyond the drip line of the vegetation.
   5-6(C)(12)(c)   Trees may be credited only 1 time toward any one buffer, screen, or other landscape requirement.
   5-6(C)(12)(d)   Trees shall be credited in accordance with Table 5-6-2.
Table 5-6-2: Credits for Preserving Trees
Diameter at Breast Height (in.)
Number of Trees Credited
Table 5-6-2: Credits for Preserving Trees
Diameter at Breast Height (in.)
Number of Trees Credited
>25
8
>13 and <25
6
>8 and <13
4
>4 and <8
2
<4
1
Prohibited trees 8 in. or greater [1]
1
[1] Prohibited trees are those that do not appear on the Official Albuquerque Plant Palette and may appear on the City or State list of prohibited or invasive species
 
   5-6(C)(13)   Stormwater Management Features
   5-6(C)(13)(a)   Required landscape and buffer areas shall be designed to serve as stormwater management areas to the maximum extent practicable and consistent with their required locations and vegetation.
   5-6(C)(13)(b)   Required landscape and buffer areas shall be designed pursuant to the DPM and the City Standard Specifications for Public Works Construction.
   5-6(C)(13)(c)   In the R-ML, R-MH, Mixed-use, and NR-SU zone districts, and on lots containing multi-family dwellings or non-residential uses in the R-A, R-1, R-MC, and R-T zone districts, surface runoff including runoff from roofs and parking areas shall be directed into depressed water collection areas that are located in landscape areas and that meet all applicable standards in the DPM.
   5-6(C)(13)(d)   Areas created to meet stormwater management requirements of the City or a governmental entity, and located in a required side or rear yard buffer or in a parking lot, shall be counted toward required landscaping and buffering in those areas, provided that the area includes vegetation required by this Section 14-16-5-6.
   5-6(C)(13)(e)   Where walkways and multi-use trails cross required landscape areas, permeable paving may be used and may count toward satisfying the requirements of Subsection 14-16-5-6(C)(2) (Minimum Landscape Area).
   5-6(C)(14)   Irrigation Systems
   5-6(C)(14)(a)   Irrigation systems shall comply with Section 8 of the ABCWUA Legislation and Ordinances (Cross Connection Prevention and Control Ordinance).
   5-6(C)(14)(b)   All irrigation systems shall be designed to minimize the use of water.
   5-6(C)(14)(c)   All non-residential landscape irrigation shall have automatic timers and/or programmable settings to avoid overwatering.
   5-6(C)(14)(d)   The irrigation system shall not spray or irrigate impervious surfaces, including sidewalks, driveways, drive aisles, streets, and parking and loading areas.
   5-6(C)(15)   Installation
   5-6(C)(15)(a)   All landscaping material used to meet the requirements of this Section 14-16-5-6 shall be installed in accordance with the planting procedures established by the American Nursery and Landscape Association.
   5-6(C)(15)(b)   All required landscaping, street trees, screening, and buffering shall be installed prior to the issuance of a final certificate of occupancy. If there is more than one primary building on the site, the landscaping, screening, and buffering related to each building shall be installed prior to the issuance of a final certificate of occupancy.
   5-6(C)(15)(c)   Any damage to utility lines resulting from the negligence of the abutting property owner or the property owner’s agents or employees in the installation and maintenance of any landscaping, screening, or buffering in a public right-of-way, private way, or easement shall be the responsibility of such property owner. Any damage to utility lines resulting from the growth of plant materials that have been approved by the applicable public utility as part of a plan for landscaping, screening, or buffering on the public right-of-way shall be the responsibility of such public utility. If a public utility disturbs landscaping, screening, or buffering in a public right-of-way, private way, or easement , it shall make every reasonable effort to preserve the landscaping materials and return them to their prior locations after the utility work. If the plant materials die despite those efforts, it is the obligation of the abutting property owner to replace the plant materials.
   5-6(C)(15)(d)   Property owners acknowledge that approved landscaping and trees installed and maintained in a public right-of-way, private way, or easement abutting private properties are the property of the City, and that that the City reserves the right to remove them if necessary for a transportation project without compensation, but at no cost to the property owner. Landscaping installed in an abutting public right-of-way, private way, or easement by property owners and later removed by the City shall not impact previously approved net lot area calculations for required landscaping.
   5-6(C)(16)   Alternative Landscaping
   The Planning Director may approve alternate landscape plans that do not meet the specific requirements stated in this Section 14-16-5-6 if the Planning Director determines that the alternatives meet all of the following criteria:
   5-6(C)(16)(a)   Are consistent with the purposes of this Section 14-16-5-6.
   5-6(C)(16)(b)   Do not include invasive vegetation included in a City or State list of prohibited or invasive species or listed as a noxious weed in the City’s Weed Identification Handbook.
   5-6(C)(16)(c)   Do not include a reduction of tree planting requirements.
   5-6(C)(16)(d)   Provide equal or superior buffering of adjacent properties from anticipated impacts of the proposed development.
   5-6(C)(16)(e)   Provide equal or superior visual appearance of the property when viewed from the street.
   5-6(C)(16)(f)   Provide equal or superior carbon dioxide absorption and heat island reductions.
5-6(D)   STREET FRONTAGE LANDSCAPING
   5-6(D)(1)   Required Street Trees
   5-6(D)(1)(a)   All development shall comply with Part 6-6-2 of ROA 1994 (Street Trees) and any standards developed by the Parks and Recreation Department or other City department to implement that Ordinance. Trees are generally required along street frontages every 25 feet on center unless specified otherwise in Part 6-6-2 of ROA 1994 (Street Trees). Along street frontages where street trees are required, trees that are planted within 20 feet of the back of curb of the abutting street may fulfill this requirement. (See figure below.) 225
 
   5-6(D)(1)(b)   Only trees selected from the Official Albuquerque Plant Palette of low water use, drought tolerant, or xeric species and shown on a landscape plan can count toward the requirements of this Subsection 14-16-5-6(D) (Street Frontage Landscaping), except that existing trees that are 8 inch caliper or larger may count toward street tree requirements, regardless of whether they appear on one of those lists.
   5-6(D)(1)(c)   Planting areas necessary for trees in the street frontage shall meet the minimum size requirements in Table 5-6-3 unless specified otherwise in this IDO. Tree grates may be used in constrained locations to accommodate pedestrian circulation, to allow the required planting areas to have a walkable surface. 226 227
 
Table 5-6-3: Minimum Planting Area by Tree Height at Maturity
Tree Height at Maturity (ft.)
Minimum Planting Area (ft.)
15-20
4 x 4
>20-40
5 x 5
>40
6 x 6
 
   5-6(D)(2)   Additional Frontage Landscaping
   5-6(D)(2)(a)   General
   Commercial and mixed-use buildings with a footprint of more than 50,000 square feet shall have at least 1 tree and 3 shrubs planted every 30 feet along the length of any façade facing a City park or trail, Major Public Open Space, or major arroyo.
   5-6(D)(2)(b)   Downtown, Urban Centers, and Main Street and Premium Transit areas
   Fifty (50) percent of any front setback area not used for pedestrian access to the building or improved with pedestrian furniture and amenities shall be landscaped, and no part of the front setback area surface shall be asphalt. (See figure below.) 228
 
5-6(E)   EDGE BUFFER LANDSCAPING
   5-6(E)(1)   General Requirements
   5-6(E)(1)(a)   Landscaped edge buffers and/or edge buffer walls are required between properties to mitigate the impacts of significant differences in property use, size, or scale through standards specified in Subsections (2) through (5) below.
   5-6(E)(1)(b)   If a landscaped edge buffer is required and a wall is required or will be provided, the wall shall be provided on the property line between the two properties unless specified otherwise in this IDO.
   5-6(E)(1)(c)   Required edge buffering is not required to be installed along any portion of the lot line covered by an access easement between adjacent lots, but an equivalent amount of landscaping shall be installed on remaining portions of the side or rear lot line, as applicable.
   5-6(E)(1)(d)   For the purposes of this Subsection 14-16-5-6(E), “industrial development” refers to the zone districts and uses indicated in Subsection 14-16-5-6(E)(4)(a) (Industrial Development Adjacent to Non-industrial Development).
   5-6(E)(1)(e)   Additional buffering may be required for specific uses, pursuant to any Use-specific Standards for those uses in Section 14-16-4-3 or Neighborhood Edge standards in Section 14-16-5-9.
 
Table 5-6-4: Edge Buffer – Development Type Summary [1]
Development Type
Development Next to
Specific Standards
General Buffering
Buffering in
DT-UC-MS-PT
Multi-family, mixed-use, or non-residential
R-A, R-1, R-MC, or R-T
14-16-5-6(E)(2)
Landscaped buffer area >15 ft.
Wall, fence, or vegetative screen >6 ft.
Mixed-use or non-residential
R-ML or R-MH
14-16-5-6(E)(3)
Landscaped buffer area >20 ft.
Industrial
Non-industrial development
14-16-5-6(E)(4)
Landscaped buffer area >25 ft.
[1] See Subsections 14-16-5-6(E)(2), 14-16-5-6(E)(3), and 14-16-5-6(E)(4) for complete edge buffer standards.
 
   5-6(E)(2)   Development Next to Low-density Residential Zone Districts
   Where multi-family, mixed-use, or non-residential development other than industrial development occurs on a lot abutting or across an alley from a lot containing low-density residential development in an R-A, R-1, R-MC, or R-T zone district, a buffer shall be provided along the lot line, as specified for the relevant area below.
   5-6(E)(2)(a)   General
      A landscaped edge buffer area at least 15 feet wide shall be provided on the subject property along the property line between the two properties.
      1.   If a wall at least 3 feet in height is provided or exists along the property line between the 2 properties, 1 tree at least 8 feet high at the time of planting shall be provided every for 15 feet along the wall, with spacing designed to minimize sound and light impacts of the proposed development on the adjacent property.
      2.   If no wall is provided or exists, 1 tree at least 6 feet tall at the time of planting and at least 25 feet tall at maturity and 3 shrubs shall be provided for every 25 feet along the lot line, with spacing designed to minimize sound, light, and noise impacts.
   5-6(E)(2)(b)   Downtown, Urban Centers, and Main Street and Premium Transit Areas
      1.   A landscaped edge buffer area at least 6 feet wide shall be provided. For buildings over 30 feet in height, the edge buffer area shall be at least 10 feet wide.
      2.   An opaque wall, fence, or vegetative screen at least 6 feet tall shall be provided at the property line between the two properties and all of the following requirements shall be met:
         a.   One (1) tree at least 8 feet high at the time of planting shall be provided every for 15 feet along the wall, with spacing designed to minimize sound and light impacts of the proposed development on the adjacent property.
         b.   The side facing the low-density residential development shall be at least as finished in appearance as the side facing the multi-family, mixed-use, or non-residential development.
         c.   If there is an existing wall between the two properties, it may count toward satisfying the requirements of Subsection 14-16-5-6(E)(2)(b)2 if it meets, or is improved to meet, the height and design standards above.
   5-6(E)(3)   Development Next to a Multi-family Residential Zone District
   Where mixed-use or non-residential development other than industrial development occurs on any lot abutting or across an alley from a lot in the R-ML or R-MH zone districts with multi-family residential development, a buffer shall be provided along the lot line, as specified for the relevant area below. 229
   5-6(E)(3)(a)   General
   An edge buffer area at least 20 feet wide shall be provided on the subject property along the property line between the two properties.
      1.   If a wall at least 3 feet in height is provided or exists along the property line between the two properties, 1 tree at least 8 feet high at the time of planting shall be provided every for 15 feet along the wall, with spacing designed to minimize sound and light impacts of the proposed development on the adjacent property.
      2.   If no wall is provided or exists, 1 tree at least 6 feet tall at the time of planting and at least 25 feet tall at maturity and 3 shrubs shall be provided for every 25 feet along the lot line, with spacing designed to minimize sound, light, and noise impacts.
   5-6(E)(3)(b)   Downtown, Urban Centers, and Main Street and Premium Transit Areas
      An opaque wall, fence, or vegetative screen at least 6 feet tall shall be provided at the property line between the two properties and both of the following requirements shall be met:
         a.   One (1) tree at least 8 feet high at the time of planting shall be provided every for 15 feet along the wall, with spacing designed to minimize sound and light impacts of the proposed development on the adjacent property.
         b.   The side facing the multi-family development shall be at least as finished in appearance as the side facing the mixed-use, or non-residential development.
         c.   If there is an existing wall between the two properties, it may count toward satisfying the requirements of Subsection 14-16-5-6(E)(2)(b)5-6(E)(2)(b)2 if it meets, or is improved to meet, the height and design standards above.
   5-6(E)(4)   Industrial Development Adjacent to Non-industrial Development
   5-6(E)(4)(a)   Applicability 230
      1.   Where a lot with industrial zoning or development is adjacent to a lot with non-industrial zoning or development, as described in Subsections 3 and 4 below, a buffer shall be provided as specified for the relevant areas in Subsections (b) and (c) below.
      2.   Where multi-family residential development is adjacent to a lot with industrial development, a buffer shall be provided as specified for the relevant areas in Subsections (b) and (c) below.
      3.   Where any development in an NR-LM or NR-GM zone district is adjacent to any lot that is not in an NR-LM or NR-GM zone district.
      4.   Where light manufacturing; heavy manufacturing; special manufacturing; natural resource extraction; non-linear portions of an electric utility, drainage facility, or other major utility; or any primary use in the Waste and Recycling category in Table 4-2-1 is developed on a lot abutting a vacant lot or a lot with a use other than one of these specified uses.
   5-6(E)(4)(b)   General
   A landscaped edge buffer area at least 25 feet wide shall be provided on the subject property along the property line between the two adjacent properties. For drainage facilities, a landscaped edge buffer area at least 15 feet wide shall be provided on the subject property along the property line between the two adjacent properties, unless a smaller edge buffer area is approved by the City Engineer as necessary on a particular lot.
      1.   If a wall at least 3 feet in height is provided or exists along the landscaped edge buffer area, 1 of the following requirements shall be met:
         a.   If the wall is located on the property line, 1 tree at least 8 feet high at the time of planting shall be provided every for 15 feet along the wall, with spacing designed to minimize sound and light impacts of the proposed development on the adjacent property.
         b.   Where the edge buffer area is across the street from the lot with non-industrial zoning or development, the wall may be set back from the property line if both of the following requirements are met:
            i.   Landscaping that meets the requirements in Subsection 2. below shall be provided between the wall and the street.
            ii.   The landscaping shall be maintained by the owner of the subject property.
      2.   If no wall is provided or exists, 1 tree at least 8 feet high at the time of planting and 5 shrubs shall be provided for every 20 feet along the lot line, with spacing designed to minimize sound and light impacts of the proposed development on the adjacent property.
   5-6(E)(4)(c)   Downtown, Urban Centers, and Main Street and Premium Transit Areas
   An opaque wall or fence at least 6 feet tall shall be provided on the subject property along any lot line abutting or across an alley from the non-industrial development.
      1.   One (1) tree at least 8 feet high at the time of planting shall be provided every for 15 feet along the wall, with spacing designed to minimize sound and light impacts of the proposed development on the adjacent property.
      2.   The side of the wall facing the non-industrial development shall be at least as finished in appearance as the side facing the industrial use.
      3.   If there is an existing wall between the two properties, it may count toward satisfying the requirements of Subsection 14-16-5-6(E)(4)(c)0 if it meets, or is improved to meet, the height and design standards above.
   5-6(E)(5)   Area of Change Next to Area of Consistency
   Where a lot in an Area of Change is abutting or across an alley from a lot in an Area of Consistency (per City Development Areas in the ABC Comp Plan, as amended), the following standards shall apply on the lot in the Area of Change, regardless of the proposed land use on that lot.
 
Table 5-6-5: Edge Buffer – Development Area Summary [1]
Lot in Area of Change Next to
Specific Standards
General Buffering
Buffering in
DT-UC-MS-PT
Area of Consistency in R-A, R-1, R-MC, or R-T
14-16-5-6(E)(2)
Landscaped buffer area >15 ft.
Wall, fence, or vegetative screen >6 ft.
Area of Consistency in R-ML or R-MH
14-16-5-6(E)(3)
Landscaped buffer area >20 ft.
Area of Consistency in Mixed-use, NR-C, or NR-PO
14-16-5-6(E)(4)
Landscaped buffer area >25 ft.
[1] See subsections 14-16-5-6(E)(5)(a), 14-16-5-6(E)(5)(b), and 14-16-5-6(E)(5)(c) for the complete buffer standards for Development Areas.
 
   5-6(E)(5)(a)   If the lot in the Area of Consistency is in an R-A, R-1, R-MC, or R-T zone district, the requirements of Subsections 14-16-5-6(E)(1) and 14-16-5-6(E)(2) shall apply.
   5-6(E)(5)(b)   If the lot in the Area of Consistency is in an R-ML or R-MH zone district, the requirements of Subsections 14-16-5-6(E)(1) and 14-16-5-6(E)(3) shall apply.
   5-6(E)(5)(c)   If the lot in the Area of Consistency is in any Mixed-use, NR-C, or NR-PO zone district, the requirements of Subsections 14-16-5-6(E)(1) and 14-16-5-6(E)(4) shall apply.
5-6(F)   PARKING LOT LANDSCAPING
   5-6(F)(1)   Parking Lot Edges
   5-6(F)(1)(a)   Landscape buffer areas are required to separate off-street parking and circulation areas from front, side, and rear boundaries of premises.
   5-6(F)(1)(b)   Where a parking lot is abutting an R-A, R-1, R-MC, or R-T zone district, provisions related to parking area in Subsection 14-16-5-9(D) (Parking, Drive-through Or Drive-up Facilities, and Loading) shall apply.
   5-6(F)(1)(c)   Where development is coordinated on 2 or more abutting sites, or where multiple parking areas are located on a single lot, or on planned development areas controlled by Site Plans, these requirements shall be based on the entire development area unless otherwise approved by the decision-making body.
   5-6(F)(1)(d)   Landscape buffers may be crossed by drive aisles connecting to abutting land.
   5-6(F)(1)(e)   No parking is allowed within a required landscape buffer area.
   5-6(F)(1)(f)   Landscape approved within the abutting public right-of-way or private way may be counted toward this requirement if there is no existing or planned public sidewalk between such landscape and the premises, but in no case shall the width of the on-site landscape buffer be less than 5 feet.
   5-6(F)(1)(g)   The landscape area may be reduced by up to 25 percent if the surface of the parking or vehicle circulation area is of a permeable material with approval from the Planning Director.
   5-6(F)(1)(h)   Where walls are required, they shall integrate with building materials and colors.
   5-6(F)(1)(i)   Landscape buffers are required in the following locations, with minimum widths and design requirements as specified below:
      1.   Front Lot Edge
         a.   General
   Any parking lot located within 30 feet of the front lot line shall be screened from the street either by a masonry wall constructed of a material similar in texture, appearance, and color to the street-facing façade of the primary building (but excluding exposed CMU block) at least 3 but not more than 4 feet in height, or by a landscape buffer at least 10 feet in width with a continuous line of evergreen shrubbery 3 feet in height, or by other means that the Planning Director determines provides equal or better screening of the headlights of parked vehicles.
         b.   Downtown, Urban Centers, and Main Street and Premium Transit Areas
   Any parking lot located within 30 feet of the front lot line shall be screened from the street by a masonry wall as described in Subsection a above. Openings in the masonry wall no more than 4 feet wide to allow passage of bicycles and pedestrians from the street into the parking lot are allowed.
      2.   Side and Rear Lot Edges
   Where no side or rear lot line buffer is required by Subsection 14-16-5-6(E) above, the following standards apply where the side or rear lot line abuts a public street:
         a.   General
   Any parking lot located within 20 feet of a side or rear lot line shall be screened by a landscaped strip at least 6 feet wide containing at least 2 trees and 6 shrubs per 25 feet of the parking lot edge closest to the lot line, or by other means that the Planning Director determines provides equal or better screening of the headlights of parked vehicles.
         b.   Downtown, Urban Centers, and Main Street and Premium Transit Areas
   Any parking lot located within 20 feet of a side or rear lot line shall be screened by a landscaped buffer at least 5 feet wide containing one tree and 3 shrubs per 25 feet of the parking lot edge closest to the lot line, or by a masonry wall constructed of a material other than cement block, at least 3 but not more than 4 feet tall.
   5-6(F)(2)   Parking Lot Interior
   5-6(F)(2)(a)   General
   At least 10 percent of the parking lot area of lots containing 50 or fewer spaces, and at least 15 percent of the parking lot area of lots containing 50 or more spaces, shall be landscaped.
   5-6(F)(2)(b)   Downtown, Urban Centers, and Main Street and Premium Transit Areas
   At least 5 percent of the parking lot area of lots containing 50 or fewer spaces, and at least 10 percent of the parking lot area of lots containing 50 or more spaces, shall be landscaped.
   5-6(F)(2)(c)   Tree Requirements
      1.   One (1) tree is required per 10 parking spaces.
      2.   No parking space may be more than 100 feet in any direction from a tree trunk.
      3.   At least 75 percent of the required parking area trees shall be deciduous canopy-type shade trees, capable of achieving a mature canopy diameter of at least 25 feet.
   5-6(F)(2)(d)   Location and Dimension of Landscaped Areas
      1.   The minimum size of tree planters within off-street parking areas shall be 60 square feet per tree. This requirement may be reduced to 36 square feet if the surface of a parking or vehicle circulation area abutting the tree planter is of a permeable material and, combined with the tree planter area, meets the 60 square foot per tree requirement.
      2.   In parking areas of 100 spaces or more, the ends of parking aisles shall be defined as landscaped islands no narrower than 8 feet in any dimension.
   5-6(F)(3)   Abutting Arroyos or Major Public Open Space
   When a parking lot is located abutting a major arroyo or any Major Public Open Space, screening shall be provided via one of the following options:
   5-6(F)(3)(a)   Walls or fencing a minimum of 6 feet high; fencing requires landscaping with evergreen shrubs or vines to form a screen at least 75 percent opaque.
   5-6(F)(3)(b)   Shrubs and trees sufficient to act as a screen at least 4 feet high and at least 75 percent opaque.
5-6(G)   SCREENING OF MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT AND SUPPORT AREAS
   Site areas listed below shall comply with the following standards. In any case where a decorative wall or fence is required or installed, chain link fencing (with or without slats) shall not satisfy the requirement.
   5-6(G)(1)   Roof-mounted Mechanical Equipment
   5-6(G)(1)(a)   No screening is required for rooftop solar energy equipment.
   5-6(G)(1)(b)   In any R-ML, R-MH, Mixed-use, NR-C, NR-BP, NR-SU, or NR-PO zone district, roof-mounted mechanical equipment shall be screened by a parapet wall or similar feature that is an integral part of the building’s architectural design. The parapet wall or similar feature shall be sufficient to screen the mechanical equipment from all sides when viewed from 5 feet above ground level at any property line abutting a City park or trail, Major Public Open Space, major arroyo, or public street classified as a collector, arterial, or interstate highway. (See figure below.)
 
   5-6(G)(2)   Ground-mounted Mechanical Equipment
   5-6(G)(2)(a)   R-ML, R-MH, and Mixed-use Zone Districts
   Outdoor ground-mounted mechanical equipment shall be located where it is not visible from streets, City parks or trails, Major Public Open Space, or major arroyos adjacent to the lot or from adjacent properties to the maximum extent practicable.
   5-6(G)(2)(b)   NR-C, NR-BP, NR-SU, and NR-PO Zone Districts
   Outdoor ground-mounted mechanical equipment shall be located where it is not visible from streets, City parks or trails, Major Public Open Space, or major arroyos adjacent to the lot or from adjacent properties with low-density residential development to the maximum extent practicable.
   5-6(G)(2)(c)   Screening
   Where it is not practicable to locate ground-mounted mechanical equipment pursuant to Subsections (a) and (b) above, such equipment shall be screened from view by an opaque decorative wall or fence or a vegetative screen.
      1.   The wall or fence shall be of a height equal to or greater than the height of the mechanical equipment being screened and shall incorporate at least 1 of the primary materials and colors of the nearest wall of the primary building (but excluding exposed CMU block).
      2.   The vegetative screen shall be planted along the full length of the equipment to be screened and shall be of a height equal to or greater than the height of the equipment to be screened at the time of planting.
      3.   No screening of ground-mounted solar energy equipment that would reduce the efficiency or effectiveness of the solar energy equipment is required.
   5-6(G)(2)(d)   Safety Exemption
   Notwithstanding Subsections (a), (b), and (c) above, screening is not required if it would violate any State or federal safety rules.
   5-6(G)(3)   Loading, Service, and Refuse Areas
   5-6(G)(3)(a)   Covering Waste Containers
   All waste containers and dumpsters shall be in a roofed enclosure or be equipped with and use a lid covering and shall be designed so that stormwater runoff does not reach storm drain inlets.
   5-6(G)(3)(b)   Development Abutting Low-density Residential
   Where a lot is abutting low-density residential development or lots zoned R-1, R-MC, or R-T, dumpsters for solid waste, but not for recycling, are prohibited in any required setback or landscape buffer area that is contiguous with the low-density residential development.
   5-6(G)(3)(c)   R-ML, R-MH, and Mixed-use Zone Districts
   Outdoor loading, service, and refuse areas shall be integrated into the building design if possible, or shall be located where they are not visible from streets, City parks or trails, Major Public Open Space, or major arroyos adjacent to the lot or from adjacent properties to the maximum extent practicable.
   5-6(G)(3)(d)   NR-C, NR-BP, NR-SU, and NR-PO Zone Districts
   Outdoor loading, service, and refuse areas shall be integrated into the building design if possible, or shall be located where they are not visible from streets, City parks, Major Public Open Space, trails, or major arroyos adjacent to the lot or from adjacent properties with low-density residential development to the maximum extent practicable. (See figure below.) 231
 
   5-6(G)(3)(e)   Screening
   Where it is not practicable to locate the loading, service, and refuse areas pursuant to Subsections (c) and (d) above, they shall be screened from view by an opaque decorative wall or fence at least 6 feet tall but not more than 8 feet tall that incorporates at least 1 of the primary materials and colors of the nearest wall of the primary building (but excluding exposed CMU block) or a vegetative screen planted along the full length of the area to be screened and at least 8 feet high at the time of planting. (See figures below.) 232
 
   5-6(G)(4)   Outdoor Storage Areas for Vehicles, Equipment, and Materials
   Areas where motor vehicles, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, trailers, recreational vehicles, boats, equipment, and/or materials, are stored outside and are typically not moved within a consecutive 7-day period, and that are adjacent to any Residential zone district, a lot containing a residential use in any Mixed-use zone district, a City park, Major Public Open Space, public trail, or major arroyo, shall be screened from view by a vegetative screen or by an opaque decorative wall or fence at least 7 feet and no more than 8 feet high that incorporates at least 1 of the primary materials and colors of the nearest wall of the primary building (but excluding exposed CMU block).
 
   5-6(G)(5)   Outdoor Activity 14
   High-temperature processes (such as combustion or welding), shall be screened from view by an opaque decorative wall or fence at least 6 feet tall but not more than 8 feet tall that incorporates at least 1 of the primary materials and colors of the nearest wall of the primary building (but excluding exposed CMU block) or a vegetative screen planted along the full length of the area to be screened and at least 8 feet high at the time of planting.
   5-6(G)(6)   Satellite Dishes
   For ground-mounted satellite dishes that are larger than 3 feet in diameter in any Residential zone district, or that are larger than 6 feet in diameter in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district, the base of the dish shall be screened from view from a City park, Major Public Open Space, public trail, or major arroyo by a vegetative screen or an opaque wall or fence constructed of 1 of the primary materials used on the nearest façade of the primary building on the lot (but excluding exposed CMU block), to the maximum extent possible and consistent with the effective operation of the satellite dish.

 

Notes

220
220   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. See Council Services Memo. EPC Recommended Condition #1.
221
221   As recommended to be revised in the January 21 EPC Staff Report – Recommended Conditions of Approval. EPC Recommended Condition #1.C revised the text proposed in the Citywide Text Amendments spreadsheet lines #1 and #2 on page 3 of 19 as shown in revised Exhibit 4-3(B)(7)(a) of the Multi-family Use-specific Standards as recommended in the January 21 EPC Staff Report – Recommended Conditions of Approval.
222
222   2020 IDO Annual Update – Citywide Text Amendments – LUPZ REVIEW. Passed 5/12/2021 as Amendment A15 – Technical Edits.
223
223   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. See Council Services/OSAB Memo. EPC Recommended Condition #1.F.
224
224   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Figure added editorially to illustrate regulation.
225
225   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Figure added editorially to illustrate regulation in (a) and what was (d) but moved here editorially.
226
226   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Language moved editorially to be part of a table for clarity.
227
227   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Language moved editorially to be part of Subsection (a).
228
228   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Figure added editorially to illustrate regulation.
229
229   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially for consistency to use the defined term “multi-family residential development.”
230
230   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Revised editorially for constancy to use the defined term “multi-family residential development.”
231
231   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Figure added editorially to illustrate regulation.
232
232   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Figure added editorially to illustrate regulation.
14
233   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1. Content revised and moved from Subsection 14-16-5-13(A).