§ 154.39  LANDSCAPING; BUFFERING; SCREENING.
   (A)   Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish minimum standards for the landscaping, buffering and/or screening of uses from those uses of a less intensive nature. This section shall apply to all parking lots, ground mounted signs, when the terrain permits, multi family developments and nonresidential uses, be they principally permitted uses or conditionally permitted uses.
   (B)   General provisions.
      (1)   Where the purpose of this section can be effectively accomplished, native vegetation shall be used;
      (2)   The applicable governmental body having jurisdiction thereover may require any applicant to retain a consultant, such as landscape architects, to insure that proposed vegetation, landscaping, buffering, or screening materials shall provide the degree and quality that is determined to be necessary, given the circumstances of the particular application;
      (3)   Vegetation, in combination with berms, is preferred to walls or fences. This does not preclude the use of walls or fences, which shall comply with the provisions of § 154.38;
      (4)   Trees used to comply with the provisions of this section shall be a minimum of two inches in diameter at the time of planting;
      (5)   At no time shall landscaping, buffering or screening utilized to satisfy the provisions of this section cause or create difficulties or limitations in visibility of vehicular or pedestrian traffic; and
      (6)   Lack of proper and regular maintenance or replacement, when necessary, of required vegetation, walls and fences shall be considered a violation of this chapter.
   (C)   Parking lots. All parking lots shall be designed to incorporate the following:
      (1)   One tree for every four parking spaces shall be installed. Trees to be placed around the perimeter of the lot are preferred;
      (2)   Low shrubbery, annuals and/or perennials are to be planted between the trees required in division (1) above;
      (3)   Landscaping and/or decorative islands within the parking lot;
      (4)   On sides adjoining residential property any combination of vegetation, walls, fences and/or berms that effectively screens the parking area from the residence(s) to a height of six feet.
   (D)   Ground mounted signs. All ground mounted signs, when the terrain permits, shall be landscaped with low shrubbery and flowers. Placement and vegetation type shall be selected so as not to interfere with visibility of any part of the sign face or message.
   (E)   Multi family developments. On any side of a multi family development that adjoins single or two family dwellings, landscaping shall be provided that acts as a visual and noise buffer. Parking and active recreational areas shall be effectively screened by any combination of vegetation, berms, walls or fences, to a height of six feet.
   (F)   Nonresidential uses. Any nonresidential use when adjoining residential dwellings shall provide landscaping that effectively buffers and screens such use from the dwelling(s).
   (G)   All proposed landscaping, buffering and screening plans are subject to review and modification.
(Ord. 99-14, passed 12-20-99; Am. Ord. 10-2001, passed 10-15-01; Am. Ord. 16-2003, passed 11-17-03)  Penalty, see § 154.19