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The Open Space (OS) Overlay established by 82.01.030 (Overlays) is created to address the issue of open space from many perspectives. It does not simply protect natural open space areas for wildlife; the Open Space Overlay strikes a balance between the needs of an urbanizing County and the many uses, which require open lands. The following are descriptions of the many types of open space considered in the overlay:
(a) Natural Resources. Open space for the protection of natural resources encompasses a variety of areas, which are required to maintain biological diversity, to protect significant natural features, and to ensure that future generations will have access to a quality “natural” experience. The County recognizes that natural areas in and adjacent to the urbanizing portions of the County are under substantial pressure. As urbanization of the Valley, Mountain and Desert Regions of the County continues, the loss of areas, which are capable of supporting both common and endangered plant and animal species, is accelerating. For this reason, protection of natural resources, or the proper management of natural lands for multiple users, is an important focus of the Open Space Overlay.
(b) Scenic Resources. Scenic areas in the County contain vistas that rival many found elsewhere in the State and the nation. These scenic resources can be deteriorated by increased urbanization along scenic corridors. The Open Space Overlay seeks to preserve these resources and to provide additional opportunities for the public to enjoy these pleasing features.
(c) Trails. Because they provide public access to open space lands and serve as an active recreational amenity, trails form an important part of the overlay. Trails will be used to provide entry and to direct public access to those areas which can safely withstand human activity, to provide alternative transportation opportunities, and to provide a sense of County history.
(Ord. 4011, passed - -2007)