(A)   The installation and maintenance of managed natural landscapes is beneficial to the city’s environment and storm water management plans. Managed natural landscapes improve storm water retention, increase water quality and biodiversity of plants, birds, butterflies and other beneficial insects and species. An owner, authorized agent, or authorized occupant of any privately owned lands may, consistent with this section and all other applicable laws, rules and ordinances, install and must maintain their managed natural landscape.
   (B)   Definition. A MANAGED NATURAL LANDSCAPE means planned, intentional, and maintained plantings of native and non-native plants in a design intended to exhibit the character and spirit of nature by arranging the plants and drainage patterns like the arrangements of natural prairie, woodland, or wetland plant communities and drainage.
   (C)   Requirements for managed natural landscapes:
      (1)   May include plants and grasses in excess of eight inches in height and which have gone to seed, but may not include any noxious weeds, as defined by the Ohio Director of Agriculture, and must be maintained so as to not include unintended vegetation or turf grass.
      (2)   May not include any plantings, which due to location and manner of growth constitute a hazard to the public or may cause injury or damage to person or property when such growth is in violation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
      (3)   May not include turf grass lawns left unattended for the purpose of returning to a natural state.
      (4)   With the exception of trees, all vegetation in the right-of-way strip between the sidewalk and street must be kept at a height of less than eight inches.
   (D)   Maintenance responsibility. All landscape material that is part of managed natural landscape regulated by this section shall be maintained in a healthy condition. Any plant materials such as shrubs, trees, and groundcovers that die, are in decline, or supporting less than 50% healthy leaf growth shall be removed or replaced. Managed natural landscaped areas shall not be permitted to encroach onto any public or private properties, or public sidewalks, streets, or alleys adjacent to the property on which they are planted.
   (E)   Managed natural landscape manual/webpage. The city shall create a managed natural landscape manual or webpage that provides best management practices and standards for managed natural landscape design, including information on native species and maintenance. The purpose of the manual or webpage is to provide the public with a resource that clearly outlines recommendations for managed natural landscaping design that will promote a healthy environment in accordance with the goals of this section. This manual or webpage may be updated from time to time.
   (F)   Notice of violation. If any provision of this section is violated at any time, a written notice of the violation shall be issued to the owner, authorized agent, or authorized occupant of the landscaped area. The owner, authorized agent, or authorized occupant shall have 30 days within which to correct the violation before any punitive action is taken.
(Ord. 9141, passed 12-18-2023)