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The common open space, wherever possible, shall consist of interconnected areas throughout the development and be adjacent to, or accessible to, the maximum number of dwelling units practicable. Highest priority shall be given to including, as open space, those areas of the site which best preserve the natural landscape and/or unique natural features. Other open space areas shall be large enough to be suitable for the intended purposes of the area and shall otherwise comply with the following:
(a) The minimum open space provided in Schedule 1252.04(a) shall be permanently preserved as common open land. A minimum of fifty percent (50%) of open space, which is not deemed to constitute the preservation of the unique natural landscape or features, shall be of such size and shape, and be available and designed, for active and/or passive recreation purposes.
(b) In determining if the proposed open space is in compliance with this section and Schedule 1252.04(a), the Planning Commission shall consider the following criteria:
(1) A portion of the open space should be visible from adjacent public streets so that the benefits of the open space extend beyond the project boundaries.
(2) The open space should not solely include land areas merely because they have a shape or natural characteristics which make them unsuitable for conventional development.
(3) The open space should not include private yards, street rights-of way, private drives, center islands of streets, parking areas, required setbacks between the project boundary lines and buildings or parking areas, minimum spacing between buildings, landscaping in parking lots and areas required for accessory uses.
(4) The open space may include retention or detention basins or ponds when the Planning Commission determines that they are designed in a manner which contributes to and complements the open space characteristics of the project.
(c) Land dedicated for public purposes and accepted by the City may, if recommended by the Planning Commission and approved by Council, be considered as part of the required open space for the planned development when the Planning Commission finds that such land:
(1) Is located and designed as an integral part of the planned development;
(2) Will be comprised of landscaping, facilities and other amenities which will complement the planned unit environment and be beneficial to its residents; and
(3) Will be equally accessible to residents of the planned development and the general public.
(d) The preliminary development plan shall include a schedule for developing the recreation facilities, improving the open space land and establishing the land as common open space.
(e) The continued maintenance and use of the required open space for the purposes intended shall be assured and guaranteed from further division and/or use through legally enforceable reservations and restrictions prepared by the applicant, reviewed by appropriate departments, accepted by the Law Director, and approved by Council with the final development plan. The maintenance of the open space shall not be the responsibility of the City, except for that portion of any open space which is dedicated for public purposes and accepted by the City pursuant to division (c) of this section.
(Ord. 48-02. Passed 2-25-02.)