(A)   Intent.  The intent of this chapter is to require buffering between noncompatible land uses; to protect, preserve, and promote the aesthetic appeal, character, and value of the surrounding neighborhood; to promote public health and safety through the reduction of noise, air pollution, unsightly areas, and artificial light glare.
   (B)   Definitions.
      (1)   "LANDSCAPING."  Landscaping is considered to be the planting and maintenance of a lawn, in addition to some combination of evergreen, shrubs, hedges, vines, or flowers.  The combination may include natural features such as rock and stone and structural features including, but not limited to, fountains, walls, fences, and benches.
      (2)   "FENCE".  A structure consisting of rails, pickets, woven wire, hedges, or the like.
      (3)   "OPACITY."  Opacity is the concealment of office, institutional, business, and industrial development from the view of adjacent residential or agricultural properties.
      (4)   "SCREENING."  Screening is defined as decorative fences or walls, evergreen vegetation, or landscaped areas, which are set forth for the purpose of concealing the view of office, institutional, business, and industrial properties from adjacent residential or agricultural properties.
      (5)   "WALL".  A structure consisting of stone, brick or the like.
   (C)   Sites affected by this chapter.
      (1)   New sites.  No new site development, building structure, or vehicular use area shall hereafter be created and used unless landscaping is provided as required by the provisions of this chapter.
      (2)   Existing sites.  No property lines shall be altered, nor shall any building, structure, or vehicular use area be expanded, unless the minimum landscaping required by the provisions of this chapter is provided for the property to the extent of its alteration or expansions, and not the entire property.
   (D)   Screening.  For office, institutional, business, and industrial development when established on property adjacent to any residential, agricultural, or government zoning districts, the following shall apply.
      (1)   Screening shall be provided along all side and rear lot lines adjacent to a residential zone to extend to within ten feet of each street right-of-way line.  However, screening may be omitted for office and institutional uses along any lot line or portion thereof, whenever a property is developed with a 25-foot landscaped yard adjacent to such lot line or portion thereof.  Screening along a side or rear lot line can be extended to the street right-of-way line at a height of three feet where deemed essential for the intent of this chapter.
      (2)   Whenever a front or side yard is across the street from any property located in a residential zone, there shall be provided adjacent thereto landscaped yard ten feet in depth for a distance equal to the residential zoning lot line along the street.
      (3)   Whenever properties are developed adjacent to an alley, screening is also required, but may also be omitted at driveways deemed essential for ingress and egress at uses established on the property.
      (4)   Landscaped yards required by this section shall not be used for driveways, parking, loading, outdoor storage, displays, work areas, sights, or similar uses.
      (5)   Screening shall be provided on all new, altered or expanded development sufficiently to hide from ground level view, all loading docks, trash receptacles, outdoor storage, outdoor work areas, or similar uses from any residential zoning district located within 150 feet of such uses.
      (6)   Screening shall be provided at a height and density to achieve the opacity required.  Where evergreens are used, the following shall be required:  trees shall be a minimum of five feet in height, with a minimum caliper of 1-1/2 inches immediately after planting.  Shrubs and hedges shall be at least three feet in height when planted, and shall conform to the opacity requirements within three years after planting.  In most cases to achieve the opacity required, this shall constitute a solid hedge or shrubbery wall six feet in height.
      (7)   When fencing is used for screening, it shall not be less than five feet nor more than eight feet in height.  Acceptable fencing for screening includes solid walls constructed of masonry, architectural tile, stone, wood, or other similar materials (excluding chain link fences).  The solid wall should be reduced to three feet in height when adjacent to a public street, and shall not be placed closer to the street than the right-of-way line.  On corner lots, the solid wall shall not be placed any closer to the street on the side yard than the required building set back line.
      (8)   All types of screening shall be kept in a neat, clean, and healthful condition.  The owner of the property shall be responsible for this maintenance.  Where landscaping is used, this shall include property pruning, mowing of lawns, weeding, removal of litter, fertilizing, and the replacement of plants when necessary.
      (9)   When any type of screening is used, the property owner shall prepare a landscape plan for submission to the planner's office.  The Zoning Official shall follow the requirements of this chapter in approving or disapproving any landscape plan.  If the property owner disagrees with the ruling of the Zoning Official, he or she may appeal to the Board of Zoning Adjustments for a ruling.
      (10)   All screened areas will be subject to review annually.  If deficiencies are found, the property owner will be notified by letter and the deficiencies shall be corrected within three months.
   (E)   Fences and walls.
      (1)   Fences and walls located in any residential district shall be subject to the following height and location restrictions unless a variance is granted by the Board of Zoning Adjustments:
         (a)   Fences or walls shall meet the following height limitations:
   Front Yard   4 feet
   Rear and side yards   8 feet
      (2)   No fence or wall shall be located closer than ten (10) feet to any street right-of-way.
      (3)   On corner lots, the side facing the secondary street shall be treated as a front yard.
      (4)   Barbed wire or electric fences shall not be permitted in any residential zone or adjacent to any residential zone.
      (5)   No fence or wall that obstructs sight along any public way shall be erected.
(Ord. 794, passed 12-22-83; Am. Ord. 90-925, passed 7-26-90;  Am. Ord. 95-1066, passed 11-21-95)  Penalty, see § 156.999