§ 151.072  OPEN SPACE REQUIREMENTS.
   (A)   General.
      (1)   Use.
         (a)   Land designated as open space shall be used and maintained as open space and may not be separately subdivided or developed except as provided herein.
         (b)   The Planning, Building and Development Director shall be authorized to allow development within designated open space areas for the maintenance or enhancement of the protected open space.
         (c)   When open space areas are designated for specific uses that require the construction of improvement, the improvements shall be appropriately sized and designed to meet the needs of the development.
         (d)   The Planning, Building and Development Director shall specifically be authorized to allow fences, walls, signs, and other structures within open space areas, if necessary to protect or enhance the function of the open space areas, or when the Planning, Building and Development Director determines that the improvements or structures will not be detrimental to the function of the open space area being preserved.
         (e)   Fences at least 90% open shall also be allowed in designated open space provided at least one of the following circumstances are present:
            1.   Where the designated open space abuts designated open space or a protected natural resource in an adjacent development;
            2.   Where the fence is proposed within an S-1 bufferyard in a subdivision platted prior to April 11, 2000; and
            3.   Where the fence is proposed within deed-restricted open space.
      (2)   Design and layout.  In designing subdivisions and laying out developments, efforts shall be taken to maximize the use and enjoyment of open spaces for the purposes designated. Small strips or spots of open space shall be avoided; they may be used only when no other practical means exists for providing required open space.
      (3)   Landscaping.  Landscaping within open space areas shall be designed so that open space areas are aesthetically pleasing and functionally usable for the purpose specified. Native plant materials shall be used unless otherwise approved by the Planning, Building and Development Director.
      (4)   Management plan.  A management plan covering a minimum period of five years following release of the maintenance assurance shall be prepared and submitted for all natural resource protection areas.
      (5)   Review.  Open space plans shall be submitted and reviewed as part of the site capacity calculation/site plan review process of § 151.070 or the subdivision process of § 151.191, whichever occurs first.
      (6)   Performance and maintenance assurances.
         (a)   The Planning, Building and Development Director may require a performance assurance in order to ensure the proper installation of landscaping, recreational, or other improvements within open space areas and to ensure maintenance of natural resource protection areas.
         (b)   The performance assurance may be required in an amount up to 130% of the design engineer’s estimate of cost for maintenance of open space areas, required improvements, and landscaping, and shall be filed at the time of county approval of the subject development for a time period of one, two, or three years.
         (c)   If deemed necessary, the Planning, Building and Development Director may also require a maintenance assurance equal to at least 10% of the original performance assurance to be filed at the time of the release of the performance assurance for a time period of one, two, or three years to ensure maintenance of the open space areas and improvements located within open space areas.
   (B)   Designation of open space.  The location and total area of all common or deed-restricted open space shall be clearly identified on all required plans (see Figure 151.072, below). Open space shall be designated in one of the following ways.
      (1)   Natural resource protection areas.  Natural resource protection areas are open space areas required for the protection of those natural resource areas identified in § 151.071.
      (2)   Restoration areas. Restoration areas are open space areas designated for the creation, enhancement or restoration of natural habitats, such as natural or restored wetlands, woodlands, prairies, or savannas.
 
COMMENTARY:
Native prairies present on the site should be identified and restored after consultation with representatives of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
 
      (3)   Recreational areas.
         (a)   Recreational areas are open space areas designated for specific recreational uses.
         (b)   The uses may include tot lots, tennis courts, swimming pools, ballfields, and similar active recreational uses.
      (4)   Greenway areas.  Greenway areas are open space areas established as linear green belts linking open space areas with residential areas, nonresidential areas, or other open space areas.
      (5)   Landscape areas.
         (a)   Landscape areas are open space areas that are typically landscaped and serve to ameliorate adverse impacts and nuisances between adjacent land uses or between a land use and a road.
         (b)   The areas designated as landscape areas shall not be counted toward meeting the open space requirement.
      (6)   Agricultural areas.
         (a)   Agricultural areas are open space areas designated for agricultural uses and the production of agricultural products.
         (b)   Agricultural areas may also be used as community garden plots within a development.
      (7)   Stormwater detention areas.
         (a)   Stormwater detention areas are open space areas designed or used for the detention or retention of stormwater runoff within a development.
         (b)   Only those stormwater detention basins that are designed as wetlands or wet bottom basins with native vegetation along wetland and water body buffer areas and side slopes shall be counted toward meeting the open space requirement.
 
COMMENTARY:
For guidance on designing wet bottom stormwater detention basins or basins that function as wetlands, applicants should consult the following sources: Illinois Environmental Protection Agency/Natural Resources Conservation Services Illinois Urban Manual, Technical Reference Manual developed by the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission, Native Plant Guide for Streams and Stormwater Facilities in Northeastern Illinois prepared by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in cooperation with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Urban Stormwater Best Management Practices for Northeastern Illinois Course Notebook prepared by the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission, Reducing the Impact of Urban Run-Off: Advantages of Alternative Site Design Approaches, prepared by Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.
 
      (8)   Sewage disposal areas. Sewage disposal areas are open space areas designed or used for the location of community sewage collection and disposal systems or individual sewage disposal systems.
Figure 151.072: Open Space Plan (example)
   (C)   Use of open space.  The use of open space areas shall be restricted to those activities that permit the use and enjoyment of the open space without compromising designated purpose of the open space area.
      (1)   Natural resource protection areas.  The use of natural resource protection areas shall be limited to non-vehicular, passive recreational activities. The activities may include nature studies, hiking, cross-country skiing, picnicking, and other similar passive recreational activities. This provision shall not be interpreted as prohibiting the use and enjoyment of lakes and ponds for recreational uses normally associated with the bodies of water. Improvements such as trails or boardwalks are permitted in natural resource protection areas, provided that the improvements have no negative impact on the resource being protected and the improvements comply with all other applicable standards of this chapter. Access to sensitive natural resource protection areas may be restricted in order to ensure the preservation of the areas.
      (2)   Restoration areas.  The use of restoration areas shall be limited to passive recreational activities that do not hinder preservation of the environmental feature being protected. The activities may include hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, picnicking, horseback riding and other similar passive recreational activities.
      (3)   Recreational areas.  The use of recreational areas shall be limited to recreational activities, which may include golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, ballfields, playgrounds, tot lots, and other similar active recreational uses. The specific uses shall be identified for each designated recreational area. Roads, parking areas, and structures (such as gazebos, club houses, and shelter houses) that are ancillary to specific recreational activities shall be permitted within recreational areas, provided that they comply with all applicable standards of this chapter and do not exceed the floor area or impervious surface standards. Recreational areas shall be accessible to all residents of a development.
      (4)   Greenway areas.  The use of greenway areas shall be limited to non-motorized, passive recreational activities. Greenways shall contain multi-modal path systems that may be used for walking, jogging, biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, and other similar passive recreational activities. In golf course communities, golf carts may also be operated within greenways. The use of greenway areas may be restricted to specific passive recreational activities. All greenway areas shall remain accessible to all residents of a development.
      (5)   Landscape areas.  Landscape areas shall be subject to the standards of § 151.167. Access to landscape areas may be restricted in order to preserve their function.
      (6)   Agricultural areas.  The use of agricultural areas shall be limited to those activities involved in the cultivation of soil, the production of crops, or the raising of livestock. Access between agricultural areas and non-agricultural areas may be restricted, provided that when agricultural areas are designated for garden plots, they shall be accessible to all residents of the subject development. Uses and structures ancillary to the agricultural use of the open space area shall be permitted, provided that they comply with all applicable standards of this chapter and do not exceed the floor area and impervious surface standards.
      (7)   Stormwater detention areas.  The use of stormwater detention/retention areas shall be limited to those activities that do not interfere with the area’s function as a stormwater detention area. Access to stormwater detention areas may be restricted to ensure public safety.
      (8)   Sewage disposal areas.  The use of sewage disposal areas shall be limited to community sewage collection and disposal systems or individual sewage disposal systems that are designed and approved in accordance with all applicable county, state, and federal standards.
   (D)   Maintenance of open space.
      (1)   Natural resource protection areas.  Maintenance of natural resource protection areas shall consist of the removal of litter, junk, and debris. Maintenance shall also include the removal of dead or diseased vegetation and such species as Lonicera tatarica (honeysuckle), Rhamnus cathartica (common buckthorn), Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass), Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife), Alliaria officinalis (garlic mustard), Rhamnus frangula (smooth buckthorn), Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust) or other invasive species that the Planning, Building and Development Director has determined are or may be detrimental to the health of the resource being protected. Natural watercourses shall be maintained free-flowing and devoid of debris. Streams and nonlinear waterbodies shall be maintained so as not to alter floodplain levels.
      (2)   Restoration areas.  Maintenance of restoration areas shall consist of the removal of litter, junk, and debris. Maintenance may also include the removal of dead or diseased vegetation, those species identified in the preceding subsection (D)(1), or other invasive species that the Planning, Building and Development Director has determined are or may be detrimental to the health of the resource being protected. Natural watercourses shall be maintained free-flowing and devoid of debris. Stream channels and linear water bodies shall be maintained so as not to alter floodplain levels.
      (3)   Recreational areas.  Recreational areas shall be maintained to ensure that they remain in usable condition and that no hazards, nuisances, or unhealthy conditions exit.
      (4)   Greenway areas.  Greenway areas shall be maintained to ensure that they remain aesthetically and functionally usable, as originally designed, and that no hazards, nuisances, or unhealthy conditions exist.
      (5)   Landscape areas.  Landscape areas shall be maintained to ensure that they remain functionally usable, as originally designed, and that no hazards, nuisances, or unhealthy conditions exist. This shall include the removal of litter, junk, and debris and the replacement of dead or diseased vegetation.
      (6)   Agricultural areas.  Agricultural areas shall be maintained as necessary to ensure the productivity of the land for the designated agricultural use.
      (7)   Stormwater detention areas.  Stormwater detention/retention areas shall be maintained to comply with the site development regulations of §§ 151.145 through 151.154.
      (8)   Sewage disposal areas.  Sewage disposal areas shall be maintained in accordance with all applicable county, state, and federal standards, including those of the Lake County Health Department. Financial assurances or maintenance bonds may be required to ensure ongoing maintenance.
   (E)   Ownership of open space.  The form of ownership of all required open space areas shall be designated on all plans. Open space areas may be owned by any one of the following mechanisms, or combinations thereof:
      (1)   Dedication.  Open space may be dedicated to the county, township, an appropriate public agency, or not-for-profit open space organization that is willing to accept the dedication, provided the terms of the conveyance have been reviewed and approved by the Planning, Building and Development Director.
      (2)   Common ownership.  Open space may be held in common ownership by a property owners’ association who shall assume full responsibility for its maintenance and who shall prevent development and subsequent subdivision of the open space land for other than open space purposes. In the event that open space is to be owned and maintained by a property owners’ association, documents establishing the association, detailing its obligation and otherwise providing for the maintenance and preservation of open space areas shall be prepared and submitted with all required plans. Covenants shall provide for the mandatory inclusion of all property owners for the purpose of being responsible for continuing maintenance of the open space.
      (3)   Deed restriction.
         (a)   Open space may be held in deed-restricted ownership which ensures that no development and subsequent subdivision of the open space land for other than open space uses shall be permitted. The maintenance responsibility of all open space areas shall be specified and provision shall be made for guaranteeing this responsibility.
         (b)   Within residential developments, open space designated as recreational areas, greenway areas or stormwater detention areas shall not be held in deed-restricted ownership, except when otherwise approved by the Planning, Building and Development Director. Moreover, in residential subdivisions wherein each lot contains at least 80,000 square feet, required open space may be held in deed-restricted ownership. The Planning, Building and Development Director may approve deed-restricted open space on lots less than 80,000 square feet only when: the subdivision consists of five lots or fewer and each lot within the subdivision contains at least 40,000 square feet of lot area; or the resultant open space is contiguous to other open space in the subdivision or on an adjacent property. Within 15 days of approving deed-restricted open space in accordance with this section, the Planning, Building and Development Director shall provide a report to the Planning, Building and Zoning Committee. The report shall describe the action taken and the basis for the decision. Deed-restricted open space shall not be allowed in conservation developments.
(Ord., § 4.3, passed 10-13-2009; Ord. passed 8-14-2012)