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(a) Applicability. The criteria below shall be used to evaluate a land use proposed within a scenic area in an Open Space Overlay and shall apply to:
(1) Areas with unique views of the County’s desert, mountain and valley areas or any other aesthetic natural land formations.
(2) An area extending 200 feet on both sides of the ultimate road right-of-way of State and County designated Scenic Highways as identified in the General Plan. The area covered may vary to reflect the changing topography and vegetation along the right-of-way.
(b) Report. A special viewshed analysis shall be required if it is determined through the preparation of an Initial Study pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that the proposed project may have a significant negative impact on the scenic values of the subject parcel. This analysis shall identify mitigation measures designed to reduce or eliminate potentially significant impacts to the viewshed.
(c) Building and Structure Placement. Structure placement and style shall be compatible with and shall not detract from the visual setting or obstruct significant views.
(d) Review Area. Land development proposals, including but not limited to residential facilities, commercial activities and mobile home parks/manufactured home land-lease communities, shall be designed to blend into the natural landscape and maximize visual attributes of the natural vegetation and terrain. The design of development proposals shall also provide for maintenance of a natural open space parallel to and visible from the right-of-way.
(e) Access Drives. Right-of-way access drives shall be minimized. Developments involving concentrations of commercial activities shall be designed to function as an integral unit with common parking and right-of-way access drives.
(f) Landscaping. The removal of native vegetation, especially timber, shall be minimized and replacement vegetation and landscaping shall be compatible with the local environment and, where practicable, capable of surviving with a minimum of maintenance and supplemental water. Landscaping and plantings shall not obstruct significant views, either when installed or when they reach mature growth.
(g) Roads, Pedestrian Walkways, Parking and Storage Areas. A large-scale development should restrict the number of access points by providing common access roads. Parking and outside storage areas shall be screened from view, to the maximum extent feasible, from either the Scenic Highway or the adjacent scenic or recreational resource by existing topography, by the placement of structures, or by landscaping and plantings which are compatible with the local environment and, where practicable, are capable of surviving with a minimum of maintenance and supplemental water.
(h) Above Ground Utilities. Utilities shall be constructed and routed underground except in those situations where natural features prevent the underground siting or where safety considerations necessitate above ground construction and routing. Above ground utilities shall be constructed and routed to minimize detrimental effects on the visual setting of the designated area. Where it is practical, above ground utilities shall be screened from view from either the Scenic Highway or the adjacent scenic or recreational resource by existing topography, or by placement of structures.
(i) Grading. The alteration of the natural topography of the site shall be minimized and shall avoid detrimental effects to the visual setting of the designated area and the existing natural drainage system. Alterations of the natural topography shall be screened from view from either the Scenic Highway or the adjacent scenic or recreational resource by landscaping and plantings which harmonize with the natural landscape of the designated area, and which are capable of surviving with a minimum of maintenance and supplemental water.
(j) Timber Harvesting. Timber harvesting within or adjacent to the right-of-way shall be limited to that which is necessary to maintain and enhance the quality of the forest.
(k) Storage Areas. Outside storage areas associated with commercial activities shall be completely screened from view of the right-of-way with landscaping and plantings that are compatible with the local environment and are capable of surviving with a minimum of maintenance and supplemental water.
(l) Signs. Off-site freestanding signs greater than 18 square feet are prohibited in the OS Overlay. On-site signs within this overlay shall be designed to reflect and preserve the unique scenic values of the scenic area. They shall not exceed 100 square feet in area. This on-site sign size requirement only applies to new on-site signs approved after January 15, 2014. No on-site signs existing prior to January 15, 2014 will be considered illegal or abandoned based upon the requirements of this subsection. The provisions of Chapter 83.13. (Sign Regulations) are applicable to the signs regulated by this subsection. The provisions of Chapter 83.13 and the environmental review required for all discretionary projects will ensure that the scenic quality of properties located within the overlay will be addressed.
(m) Wireless Telecommunication Facilities. Wireless telecommunication facilities shall be allowed within a scenic area pursuant to Chapter 84.27 (Wireless Telecommunication Facilities) of this Code.
(Ord. 4011, passed - -2007; Am. Ord. 4245, passed - -2014; Am. Ord. 4268, passed - -2015)