1111.06  LANDSCAPING.
   (a)   Intent and Purpose: The intent of these landscaping regulations is to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare through the preservation, protection and enhancement of the environment, by recognizing the vital importance of tree growth in the ecological system.  It is further the purpose of this Section to:
      (1)   Promote the preservation, replacement and augmentation of major trees removed in the course of land development, so as to mitigate the impact of development.
      (2)   Promote the proper utilization of landscaping as a buffer between certain land uses and to minimize the possibility of nuisances including potential noise, glare, litter and visual clutter of parking and service areas.
      (3)    To protect, preserve and promote the aesthetic appeal, character and value of the surrounding neighborhoods.
      (4)    To offer a minimum standard for the consistent appearance of plant material in the community landscape.
      (5)    Soften the appearance of building masses and paved areas and reduce generation of heat and stormwater runoff.
   (b)   Preservation of Trees:  All major trees shall be preserved unless exempted, as follows:  The City Engineer may approve the cutting down, removal or destruction of a major tree when the tree interferes with the proper development of a lot, provided that the lot is the subject of application for approval of a zoning certificate, a site plan, a development plan, a variance, or a conditional use permit and one of the following applies:
      (1)   The tree will be located within a public right-of-way or easement.
      (2)   The tree on the proposed development lot is located within the area to be covered by proposed structures or within twelve (12) feet from the perimeter of structures, and the proposed structures cannot be located in a manner to avoid removal of the tree at the same time permitting desirable and logical development of the lot.
      (3)   The tree will be located within a proposed driveway designed to service a single-family home.
      (4)   The tree is damaged, diseased or a safety hazard.
      (5)   The tree is an undesirable species in its present location.
   (c)   Preservation of Wooded Areas:   When preparing and reviewing  subdivision plans, development plans and landscaping plans, good faith effort shall be made to preserve natural vegetation areas.  Streets, lots, structures and parking areas shall be laid out to avoid the unnecessary destruction of heavily wooded areas or outstanding tree specimens.  Developers of land are encouraged to designate heavily wooded areas as park reserves. 
   (d)   Tree Replacement: During the course of development of a single lot, subdivision, PUD or PCRD, the developer or owner shall be encouraged to replace major trees removed pursuant to Section 1111.06 (b). “Major trees” shall be defined as trees having a trunk diameter of at least two and one-half (2½) inches, measured twenty-four (24) inches above the ground level.
   (e)   Applicability of Landscaping and Screening Standards: 
      (1)   Landscaping: Consistent with the objectives established  in Section 1111.06(a), landscaping shall be provided in the following areas:
         A.    At the perimeter of sites to buffer, separate and/or screen adjacent land uses;
         B.   At the perimeter of parking lots to shade, separate and/or screen the view of parked cars from adjacent residential uses;
         C.   In the interior of parking lots to shade and beautify the paved surface; and
         D.   Around the perimeter of buildings to soften, shade and enhance the appearance of structures. 
      (2)   Screening: Screening shall be provided in the following areas:
         A.   To block the view of trash dumpsters, loading areas, service courts and storage areas;
         B.   Between residential and non-residential land uses; 
         C.   Parking lots shall be screened to minimize the view of cars from adjacent residential uses.  It is not necessary to screen, but only to separate adjacent non-residential parking areas. 
   (f)   Procedure:
      (1)   Any person seeking a, subdivision plat approval, development plan approval or site plan approval, or any person seeking a variance or conditional use, if applicable, shall file with his application a landscaping plan prepared in a professional manner that, by plot plan and description, includes:
         A.   The present location and size of all major trees, with a designation of major trees sought to be removed.
         B.   The location, size and description of landscaping materials proposed to be placed on the lot in order to comply with this section.
         C.   The location and size of any structures presently on the lot, and those proposed to be placed on the lot.
         D.   The proposed location and description of screening proposed to be placed on the lot in order to comply with this section.
      (2)   The Planning Board shall consider a landscape plan as part of its review of any conditional use permit, subdivision plat, development plan or site plan application.  The Appeals Board shall consider a landscape plan as part of the action on a variance application.
      (3)   No variance, development plan approval, site plan approval or conditional use permit shall be granted or issued until final approval of the landscaping plan.
   (g)   Buffer Yards (Perimeter Lot Landscaping):  The buffer yard is a designated unit of yard or open area together with any plant materials, barriers, or fences required thereon.  Both the amount of land and the type and amount of landscaping specified are designated to lessen impacts between adjoining land uses.  By using both distance and landscaping, the impact of such items as noise, glare, activity, dirt, and unsightly parking areas will be minimized.  It is a further intent of the following provisions to provide flexibility to the property owner through the manipulation of four basic elements -- distance, plant material type, plant material density, and structural or land forms.
      (1)   Location of buffer yards:  Buffer yards shall be located on the side and rear lot lines of a parcel extending to the lot or parcel boundary line.  Buffer Yards shall not extend into or be located within any portion of an existing street right-of-way.
      (2)   Determination of buffer yard requirements:  To determine the type of buffer yard required between two adjacent parcels, the following procedure shall be followed:
         A.   Identify the land use class of the proposed use by referring to Table 5.
         B.   Identify the land use class of each adjacent use by referring to Table 5.
         C.   Determine the buffer yard requirements for those side and rear lot lines or portion thereof on the subject parcel (i.e., the proposed use) by referring to Table 6. Existing plant material or fences may be counted as contributing to the total buffer yard requirement.  The buffer yards specified are to be provided on each lot or parcel of the proposed use, independent of adjacent uses or adjacent buffer yards.
         D.   Should a developed use increase in intensity from a given land use class to a higher one on Table 5 or Table 6 (e.g., Class III to Class IV), the Planning Board shall, during the site plan or development plan review process, determine if additional buffer yard is needed and, if so, to what extent and type.
         E.   Buffer yard requirements are stated in terms of the width of the buffer yard and the number of plant units required per one hundred (100) linear feet of buffer yard.  The requirements may be satisfied by any of the options indicated in Table 7.
      (3)   Buffer yard requirements for nonconforming structures or sites:  If a nonconforming site is unable to comply with the minimum buffer yard requirements of this Section, the applicant shall not be entitled to the permit for which application has been made unless a variance is granted.  Existing paved parking areas beyond the minimum UDO requirements for number of spaces, maneuvering/access aisles or loading areas, as outlined in Section 1111.07, shall be removed if necessary to provide the required buffer.
TABLE 5: Land Use Classification
 
Class I:  Light Residential
Agriculture
Single-Family Detached Dwellings
Two-Family Dwellings
Class II:  Office/Institutional
Administrative and Business Offices
Professional Offices
Institutions – religious, social, cultural, educational, health and public
Multi-Family Dwellings
Class III: Commercial
General Retail, Entertainment, Restaurants, Specialty Retail and Business Services
Class IV: Industrial
Manufacturing, Wholesaling, Research and Development Facilities
 
(Ord. 05-16.  Passed 11-7-05.)
TABLE 6:  Buffer Yard Requirements
 
Proposed Land Use Class
Adjacent Existing Land Use Class
I
II
III
IV
I
*
*
*
*
II
E
A
C
D
III
E
C
A
B
IV
E
D
B
A
 
*  No buffer yard required.
(A, B, C, D and E indicate the required type of buffer yard, as shown on Table 7.)
(Ord. 05-16.  Passed 11-7-05; Ord. 07-02.  Passed 5-21-07.)
TABLE 7:  Buffer Yard Types:  Quantity of Plant Material
 
Buffer Yard

Width
Deciduous Trees1
Deciduous Shrubs1

Evergreens
1

Berm
2

Fence
2
A
15’
2
---
2
10’
2
2
2
B
20’
2
---
2
15’
2
2
2
10'
2
4
4
C
25’
2
2
2
20’
2
4
2
15’
3
4
4
D
30’
2
2
2
25’
2
2
4
20’
3
4
4
*
10’
3
4
4
*
E
30’
2
2
2
25’
3
4
4
20’
3
4
4
*
15’
3
4
4
*
 
1 Required number of  minimum plant units per 100'.
2 Entire length of buffer yard, 3'-4' berm or 4'-6' opaque fence.
* Indicates berm or fence is required.
   (h)   Screening of Service Court, Storage Areas and Loading Dock Areas:
      (1)   For commercial, industrial, office-institutional and community service uses, all areas used for service, loading and unloading activities shall be screened along the entire rear lot line and side lot lines from the rear lot line to the building setback line, if adjacent to or abutting a residential district.
      (2)   Screening shall consist of walls, fences, natural vegetation or an acceptable combination of these elements, provided that screening must be at least seven (7) feet, and walls and fencing no more than twelve (12) feet in height.  Natural vegetation shall be a variety which will attain seven feet in height within five years of planting.
      (3)   Natural vegetation screening shall have a minimum opaqueness of seventy- five percent (75%) at all times.  The use of year-round vegetation, such as pines or evergreens is encouraged.  Vegetation shall be planted no closer than three (3) feet to any property line.
   (i)   Screening of Trash Container Receptacles:
      (1)   For commercial, community service, industrial, office-institutional and multiple family uses, all trash containers or receptacles shall be screened or enclosed.  Trash containers designed to service more than one (1) residential unit or to service a non-residential structure shall be screened on all sides by walls, fences, or natural vegetation or an acceptable combination of these elements.  Trash containers shall not be located in the front yard building setback and shall otherwise conform to the side and rear yard setbacks of the applicable zoning district.
      (2)   The height of such screening shall be at least six (6) feet.  The maximum height of walls and fences shall not exceed ten (10) feet.  Natural vegetation shall have a minimum opaqueness of seventy-five percent (75%) at all times.  The use of year-round vegetation, such as pines or evergreens is encouraged.  Natural vegetation shall be a variety which will attain six (six) feet in height within five (5) years of planting.
   (j)   Parking Lot Screening and Landscaping:
      (1)   Perimeter Screening.  Effectively concealing vehicles within a parking area from the adjacent roadway or adjoining property requires the selective use of plant, mounding or fence material for visual separation.  Located adjacent to the parking lot edge, the perimeter screening is designed to supplement required buffer yard material.  The perimeter of parking areas, except those for single-family and two-family residential uses, shall be screened as follows:
         A.   Parking areas for non-residential uses and for residential uses such as churches, schools, parks and public facilities adjacent to residentially zoned or used land shall be developed with plant, mounding or fence/wall material which conceals the view of parked cars from the residential property.  The height of wall/fences located in front of the building line should be minimized with a maximum height of four (4) feet.  Plant material should be used to soften and add visual interest to a wall/fence.  A plant material screen shall have a minimum opaqueness of seventy-five percent (75%) at all times.  The use of year round vegetation, such as pines or evergreens is encouraged.
         B.   The separation and landscaping of the required buffer yard will provide adequate screening for all other parking lot perimeters.
      (2)   Interior Parking Area Landscaping:  Landscaping within parking areas, whether ground cover or other upright plant material, is necessary not only to reduce the generation of heat and runoff, but to break up visually the expanse of paved areas.  The use of parking islands or peninsulas strategically placed throughout the parking lot is one of the most effective ways to landscape parking lot interiors.  The use of shade trees in these landscape areas is encouraged.  Any open parking area (including loading areas) containing more than 16,000 square feet of area or fifty (50) or more parking spaces shall provide the following interior landscaping in addition to the required perimeter screening:
         A.   For lots between 16,000 and 29,999 square feet, the landscaped area shall equal five percent (5%).  For lots larger than 30,000 square feet, the landscaped area shall be ten percent (10%).
         B.   Whenever possible, large parking areas of 30,000 square feet or larger shall be designed so as to break up their visual expanse and create the appearance of smaller parking lots.  This distinction or separation can be achieved by interspersing yard space and buildings in strategic areas and by taking advantage of natural features such as slope, existing woodland or vegetation, drainage courses and retention areas.
         C.   Landscaping in parking areas shall be dispersed throughout in peninsulas or islands.  Minimum island or peninsula size shall be two hundred (200) square feet, with a two (2) foot minimum distance between all trees or shrubs and the edge of pavement where vehicles overhang and a minimum width of ten (10) feet.
         D.   The Planning Board, as part of the site plan review process, may vary the requirements for minimum and maximum size of parking islands and peninsulas if situations including, but not limited to the following, exist: 
            1.   The need to concentrate landscape areas for the purpose of stormwater detention;
            2.   The need to relocate required landscaping on the perimeter of a parking area in the case of a small or unusually shaped lot or where additional screening is desired.
      (3)   Required plant materials for the interior of parking areas.
         A.   One (1) deciduous tree shall be required for every 3,000 square feet of parking area or for every ten (10) parking spaces.
         B.   Where site distance or maneuvering conflicts exist, trees shall have a clear trunk of at least five (5) feet above the ground, and the remaining required landscape areas shall be planted with shrubs or groundcover not to exceed two feet in height.
   (k)   General Landscaping For Lots and Building Foundations for Multi-Family, Commercial and/or Industrial Development(Not applicable to single-family homes): To visually soften the building mass or help define exterior spaces, the following landscaping shall be required for all lots, in addition to the landscaping for buffer yards and parking areas.  All required planting shall be located in areas which do not include any buffer yard or right-of-way.  If the lot consists primarily of impervious surfaces, such trees may be placed close to the building or may be used to add to required parking area landscaping.  Existing plant materials which meet the requirements of this Section may be counted as contributing to the landscaping required by this Section.
      (1)   Lot Interior Landscaping:  Three (3) deciduous trees shall be required for each one hundred (100) linear feet of building perimeter of non-residential uses or per dwelling unit of single-family residential uses and one (1)deciduous tree for each multi-family unit.
      (2)   Building Foundation Planting Requirements:  Foundation plantings are intended to soften building edges and screen foundations, and shall be placed within five (5) feet of the building perimeter if feasible.  If the City Engineer determines that, because of site design considerations such as the location of sidewalks, plazas or service areas, this is not feasible, such plant materials may be located in planter boxes or in other areas of the site in a manner that enhances the overall landscape plan for the development.
         A.   Five (5) shrubs shall be required per dwelling unit.
         B.   Foundation shrubbery for non-residential uses shall be used to enhance and highlight building architecture.  The use of foundation plantings is particularly important on blank walls (i.e. to window or door openings).
         C.   Ten (10) shrubs shall be required for every one hundred (100) linear feet of building perimeter for non-residential uses.
   (l)   Plant Material Specifications (For Buffer Yards, Landscaping and Screening):The following sections include specifications for plant materials.  Alternatives to these materials which can be demonstrated to meet both the intent and requirements of this Ordinance may be approved as part of a Landscape Plan.
      (1)   Deciduous Trees – Size at Planting:  A minimum caliper of at least two and one-half (2½) inches measured twenty-four (24) inches above ground level.
      (2)   Evergreen Trees – Size at Planting:  A minimum of five (5) feet high and a minimum spread of three (3)  feet.
      (3)   Shrubs:  Shrubs shall be at least twenty-four (24) inches average height and spread at the time of planting and, where required for screening, shall form a continuous, year-round solid visual screen within five (5) years after planting.
      (4)   Groundcover and Grass:
         A.   Groundcover – Groundcover shall be planted a minimum of eight (8) inches on center and shall be planted in such a manner so as to present a finished appearance and seventy-five percent (75%) coverage after one complete growing season.  If approved as part of a Landscape Plan, groundcover may also consist of rocks, pebbles, sand, wood chips and other material.
         B.   Grass – Grass shall be planted in species normally grown as permanent lawns in Eaton, Ohio, and may be sodded or seeded, except in swales or other areas subject to erosion, where solid sod, erosion-reducing net, or suitable mulch shall be used.  Grass sod shall be clean and free of weeds and noxious pests or disease.
   (m)   Modifications and Conditions:
      (1)   The quantity of required plant material may be modified by the Planning Board or by the Appeals Board when the Board determines that special conditions exist making either more or less plant material necessary.
      (2)   Buffering requirements may be waived by the Planning Board or by the Appeals Board if the Board determines that special conditions make buffering an undue hardship upon the applicant; however, in the Historic Overlay District, buffering requirements may only be waived upon the recommendation of the Historic District Review Board.
   (n)   Maintenance and Replacement Requirements: The owner shall be responsible for the maintenance of all landscaping in good condition so as to present a healthy, neat and orderly appearance.  This should be accomplished by the following standards:
      (1)   All plant growth in landscaped areas shall be controlled by pruning, trimming or other suitable methods so that plant materials do not interfere with public utilities, restrict pedestrian or vehicular access, or otherwise constitute a traffic hazard.
      (2)   All planted areas shall be maintained in a relatively weed-free condition, clear of undergrowth and free from refuse and debris.
      (3)   All trees, shrubs, ground covers and other plant materials contained on a Landscape Plan approved by the Planning Board or Appeals Board must be replaced if they die or become unhealthy because of accidents, drainage problems, disease or other causes.  Replacement plants shall conform to the size standards that govern original installation.  Deciduous trees must be replaced with deciduous trees, coniferous trees must be placed with coniferous trees and shrubbery must be replaced with shrubbery.  Plants intended for screening must maintain the required minimum opacity.  Dead or unhealthy plants shall be replaced within the next planting season.
         (Ord. 05-16.  Passed 11-7-05.)