(a)   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 glare.
   (b)   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 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 (divisions (d) through (h) of this section and perimeter parking lot landscaping (division (m)(3) of this section) 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 spaces or fewer. General landscaping (division (j) of this section), landscaping in the front yard and front setback (division (l) of this section), and landscaping for parking lot islands (division (m)(2) of this section) 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:
When Existing Structure is...
A Substantial Expansion is...
0–1,000 sq. ft.
50% or greater
1,001–10,000 sq. ft.
40% or greater
10,001–25,000 sq. ft.
30% or greater
25,001 and larger
20% or greater
      (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 (division (m)(3) of this section and screening/landscaping for service structures (division (n) of this section) are required only to the extent that the site improvement is visible from roads or adjacent property. Landscaping for parking lot islands (division (m)(2) of this section) 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 spaces or smaller.
   (c)   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.
   (d)   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.
   (e)   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.
         A.   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.
         B.   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.
         A.   The bufferyards illustrated in division (g) of this section 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.
         B.   When a use is proposed to be developed adjacent to a higher intensity use existing as of the effective date of this Code, it shall be required to plant a minimum Level B Bufferyard.
         C.   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.:
         A.   Industrial.
         B.   General agricultural land use.
         C.   Retail commercial.
         D.   Institutional/civic.
         E.   Office commercial.
         F.   Village Core non-residential land uses.
         G.   Multi-family residential.
         H.   Single-family residential open space conservation subdivision.
         I.   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.
   (f)   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;
      (2)   Identify the adjacent land use(s); and
Table 1 Bufferyard/Land Use Matrix
Single- Family Residential– Conventional Land Use
Single- Family Attached Townhome Land Use
Single- Family Residential– Open Space Conservation Subdivision Land Use
Multi- Family Residential Land Use
Village Core Non- Residential Land Use
Office Commercial Land Use
Institutional/ Civic Land Use
Retail Commercial Land Use
General Agricultural Land Use
Industrial Land Use
Single- Family Residential–Conventional Land Use
Single- Family Attached Townhome Land Use
Single- Family Residential–Open Space Conservation Subdivision Land Use
Multi-Family Residential Land Use
Village Core Non-Residential Land Use
Office Commercial Land Use
Institutional/Civic Land Use
Retail Commercial Land Use
General Agricultural Land Use
Industrial Land Use
      (1)   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 non-residential development and the residential use shall be increased according to the following table:
When the Height of the Nonresidential Use Is:
The Required Boundary Bufferyard Type Shall Be:
35 Feet or Less
As Shown in Table 1 Above
35 Feet or More
One Level Higher Than the Type Shown in Table 1 Above. (e.g., if Table 1 shows Bufferyard C, Bufferyard D shall be established).
35 Feet or More, But Building is Set Back At Least 300 Feet from Lot Line Adjoining the Residential Use
As shown in Table 1 Above
   (g)   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 section.
      (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.
         A.   Bufferyard A–Minimal: Minimum bufferyard width five feet. (See Figure 10)
         B.   Bufferyard B–Minor: Minimum bufferyard width ten feet. (See Figure 11)
         C.   Bufferyard C–Moderate: Minimum bufferyard width fifteen feet. (See Figure 12)
         D.   Bufferyard D–Substantial: Minimum bufferyard width twenty-five feet. (See Figure 13)
         E.   Bufferyard E–Major: Minimum bufferyard width forty 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 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 division (m) of this section, the required bufferyard may be satisfied concurrently with the requirements of division (m) of this section by the more intensive planting and the more extensive width required by either this division or division (m) of this section.
Figure 10: Bufferyard A - Minimal
Figure 11: Bufferyard B - Minimal
Figure 12: Bufferyard C - Moderate
Figure 13: Bufferyard D - Substantial
Figure 14: Bufferyard E - Major
   (h)    Bufferyard Fences and Earth Berms. Bufferyards C, D, and E include the optional use of fences or earth berms as part of the bufferyard requirement s. For all Bufferyards A- E, where the minimum bufferyard distance width is being met, if a four to six foot earth berm or a four to six foot fence or wall is installed as part of the bufferyard, then the required bufferyard plant material may be reduced by no more than fifteen percent. This fifteen percent reduction is in addition to other allowable reductions in plant material due to increasing the minimum bufferyard width, as illustrated in division (g) of this section, Bufferyard Requirements.
   (i)   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 feet and taller, medium–p to forty feet, and small–up to twenty feet.
         A.   The minimum spacing between trees shall be forty feet for large trees, thirty feet for medium trees, and twenty feet for small trees.
         B.   The maximum spacing between trees shall be fifty feet for large trees, forty feet for medium trees, and thirty feet for small trees.
         C.   The minimum distance between the edge of the mature tree and the edge of the street shall be six feet for a large tree, four feet for medium, and small trees.
         D.   The tree location shall be at least thirty 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.
         E.   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 twenty lateral feet of overhead utility wires.
         F.   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.
   (j)   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.
         A.   All residential lots shall be planted with a minimum of three trees with a minimum diameter at breast height (DBH) of one inch. Any single-family detached lot shall have at least one 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 division (t) of this section, Landscaping Credits)
         B.   For any residential development with attached or multi-family buildings, two trees, with a minimum DBH of one inch, 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 tree shall be planted of a minimum two 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.
   (k)   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:
         A.   The minimum width of the bufferyard shall be fifty 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)
         B.   Plantings for every 100 feet of bufferyard length: four small trees and two large or medium trees from the Tree Plant List. (Appendix C)
         C.   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).
         D.   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 ten percent 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.
   (l)   Landscaping for Parking Lots.
      (1)   General requirements.
         A.   Parking lots containing twenty or more vehicular parking spaces shall provide interior landscaping of the peninsular or island types of uncompacted, well-drained soil that contains a minimum of six inches of top soil mix, as well as perimeter landscaping.
         B.   All parking lots shall provide perimeter landscaping.
      (2)   Interior landscape requirements for parking lots.
         A.   For every ten parking spaces or fraction thereof, the applicant shall provide not less than 160 square feet of interior landscaped parking lot areas containing at least one tree with a minimum DBH of two inches and four shrubs. (See Figure 15)
         B.   The minimum landscape area permitted shall be 160 square feet with a minimum planting width of nine feet.
         C.   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.
Figure 15: Interior Landscape Requirements
      (3)    Perimeter landscaping for parking lots:
         A.     Parking lots shall have perimeter landscaping of a minimum width of five feet exclusive of vehicle overhang. (See Figure 16)
         B.     This perimeter landscaping shall contain sufficient plant material that will achieve an effective, opaque screen of a height of at least three feet within two years of installation. The perimeter buffer zone shall also contain deciduous trees and allow adequate snow storage area.
   Figure 16: Perimeter Landscape Requirements
         C.   When perimeter landscaping of parking lots is required even in addition to a bufferyard of division (g) of this section, the required perimeter landscaping of parking may be satisfied concurrently with the requirements of division (g) of this section by the more intensive planting and the more extensive width required by either this division or division (g) of this section.
      (4)   Vehicle overhang.
Figure 17: Vehicle Overhang
         A.    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)
         B.    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.
   (m)   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. A solid, opaque fence or wall 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. Continuous evergreen planting shall additionally be incorporated when viewed from a street. 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 access.
      (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 structures.
      (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 emptied.
   (n)   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:
         A.   Such plan has been fully implemented on the site and inspected by the City Community Development Staff; or
         B.   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 percent of the cost of such installation. See also Section 1208.15(b), Performance Guarantees.
   (o)   Timing of Installation. Landscaping and bufferyards shall be installed within six months of the completion of construction.
   (p)   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.
         A.   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 weather-proof 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 requirements.
         B.   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 containers.
            1.   Deciduous trees. Large/medium sized deciduous trees shall have a minimum DBH of at least two inches when installed at the time of planting. Small sized deciduous trees shall have a minimum DBH of at least one inch 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 six feet in height at the time of planting. If used for screening, evergreen plantings shall be designed to provide an effective, opaque screen within four years of planting.
            3.   Shrubs and hedges. Shrubs and hedges shall be at least eighteen inches in height or twenty-four 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 four years after planting.
            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 seventy-five percent complete coverage after two growing seasons.
      (2)   Earth berms. Earth berms and/or elevated grades 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 and/or elevated grades shall be constructed of earthen materials and shall conform to the following standards:
         A.   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 utilized.
         B.   Earth berms and/or elevated grades shall be designed with physical variations in height and alignment throughout their length.
         C.   Landscape plant material installed on earth berms and/or elevated grades shall be arranged in an irregular pattern to accentuate the physical variation and achieve a natural appearance.
         D.   The landscape plan shall show sufficient detail, including a plan and profile of the earth berm and/or elevated grade, soil types, and construction techniques to demonstrate compliance with the above provisions.
         E.   Earth berms and/or elevated grades shall be located and designed to minimize the disturbance to existing trees located on the site or adjacent thereto.
         F.   No part of any earth berm and/or elevated grade which is elevated more than eighteen inches above natural grade shall be located within fifteen feet of any right-of-way or property line.
         G.   Grass or ground cover shall be used and maintained to prevent erosion of the earth berm and/or elevated grade.
         H.   No earth berm and/or elevated grade 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.
         I.   Natural surface drainage patterns shall not be adversely affected by construction of earth berms and/or elevated grades.
         J.   No earth berm and/or elevated grade 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 earth berm and/or elevated grade.
   (q)   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.
   (r)   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.
   (s)   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 along both intersecting streets from their respective edge of pavements. (See Figure 18)
Figure 18: Clear Sight Triangles
   (t)   Landscaping Credits. The purpose of landscaping credits is to provide for the opportunity to protect and preserve existing trees and established plant material.
      (1)   Tr ees. Credit may be given for preservation of existing large/medium/small deciduous and evergreen trees as follows:
         A.    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.
         B.   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.
         C.   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.
         D.   Trees shall be credited according to the following criteria in the quantities shown:
Minimum Diameter at Breast Height
Number of Trees Credited
36 inches or greater
26-36 inches
9-25 inches
2-8 inches
         E.   The landscape plan shall indicate the quantities of trees credited and illustrate the required surrounding landscape area for each tree credited.
         F.   If any preserved tree dies within two 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:
         A.   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.
         B.   Shrubs may be credited only one time towards any one required bufferyard, or screen.
         C.   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.
         D.   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 credited.
(Ord. 16-44, § 7.  Passed 7-19-16; Ord. 16-148, § 13.  Passed 2-21-17; Ord. 18-93.  Passed 10-15-19.)