SECTION 9.16 SCREENING AREA:
   A.   General: All screening areas, where required, in and along any yard, shall consist of a landscaped planting strip at least ten (10) feet in width, planted within the boundaries of such strip with a hedge or similar vegetation or suitable fences approved by the Zoning Administrator or the Planning and Zoning Commission if required by this Ordinance. Hedges and fences as required by this section shall be of a height suitable for screening as approved by the Zoning Administrator (or the Planning and Zoning Commission if required by this Ordinance). All landscaping and screening improvements shall be maintained by the property owner.
   B.   In transitional yards separating residential districts from commercial and/or industrial uses, the requirements for screening shall be as follows:
      1.   Where a front yard abuts a street on the opposite side of which is a Residential District, the front yard may include off street parking provided a ten (10) foot wide strip of said required front yard, paralleling and measured from the front lot line, and extending the full length thereof (except for walks, access cuts, and driveways) shall be maintained as a landscaped portion of the yard in conformance with paragraph 9.16 B.
      2.   Where a side or rear lot line abuts either a side or rear lot line in an adjacent Residential District, a side or rear yard setback not less than fifteen (15) feet in depth shall be provided along such side or rear lot line.
         Provided however, where a dedicated alley separates such side or rear lot line from the Residential District, said side or rear yard and setback shall not be less than ten (10) feet.
      3.   Transitional Yard Exception: The transitional yard requirements of paragraph 9.16(A) shall not apply in those instances where commercial or industrial use, legally established by permanent variance or lawful non conforming use, exists upon such adjoining property or abutting frontage property, although residentially zoned.
   C.   Screening and Landscaping Transitional Yards:
      1.   Front transitional yards (fronting upon a Residential District) or for new parking lots within residential zones, shall be landscaped in an open pattern, in grass and shrubbery, trees and/or hedge to provide a partial screening of the use. An ornamental, decorative fence not more than two and on half (2 1/2) feet in height if solid, or six (6) feet if more than fifty (50) percent open, may be used in conjunction with the landscaping.  Provided, however, along any portion of said transitional front yard in which an off street parking area is located there shall be provided and maintained along the front lot line a buffer screen of either:
         Architectural Screen  a wall or fence of ornamental block, brick, wrought iron fencing, or combination thereof. Said wall or fence shall be at least 42 inches in height and shall be so constructed to such minimum height to restrict any view there through, or
         Plant Material Screen  a compact hedge of evergreen or deciduous shrubs, at least 36 inches in height at the time of planting. Ground area between such wall, fence or hedge and the front lot line shall be planted and maintained in grass, other suitable ground cover, shrubbery and/or trees. All shrubs and trees shall be planted balled and burlapped and shall meet the standards of the American Association of Nurserymen.  To provide maximum flexibility in the landscape design of side screen and ground area, a variety of plant material may be used, provided, however, that a plan indicating the species, variety, size, spacing and location of all plants shall be filed with the Zoning Administrator and approved by him prior to the time of planting.
      2.   Side and rear transitional yards (abutting residential districts) shall be landscaped in grass and shrubbery, trees and/or hedge to form an effective screening of the use. An ornamental, decorative fence or masonry wall may be used in conjunction with the landscaping. Provided, however, if any portion of a side or rear transitional yard is used for a driveway or off street parking area, there shall be provided and maintained along the entire length of such lot line to the front setback line, a wall or fence of ornamental block, brick, solid wood fencing, or combination thereof. Said wall or fence shall be at least six (6) feet in height and shall be so constructed to such height to restrict any view there through.
   D.   Landscaping Installation and Maintenance:
      1.   Installation  all landscaping required by this section shall be installed prior to the issuance of a building occupancy permit if said permit is issued during a planting season, or within six (6) months of the date of an occupancy permit is issued if issued during a non planting season.
      2.   Maintenance  it shall be the responsibility of the owners and their agencies to ensure proper maintenance of the landscaping, in accordance with the landscape plan approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. This is to include, but is not limited to, replacing dead plantings with identical varieties or a suitable substitute, and keeping the area free of refuse and debris.
      3.   Safety - in no instance shall plant materials which overhang a public right-of-way have a clearance of less than fourteen feet from the lowest limb of the plant to the pavement surface of the right-of-way (see Section 12.0 for requirements for maintaining proper sight-distance).
      4.   Changes After Approval  no landscaping which has been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission or the Tree Board may later be substantively altered, eliminated, or sacrificed, without first obtaining further Plan Commission and Tree Board Approval.
      5.   Inspection  the Planning and Zoning Commission, Zoning Administrator, or their duly appointed representative, shall have the authority to visit any areas screened under the requirements of this section to inspect the landscaping and check it against the approved plan on file.