§ 160.488  BUFFER YARDS.
   (a)   (1)    A setback area, landscaping, and barrier shall be provided when designated nonresidential and multifamily planned property and DD, AD, and MD residentially used property are adjacent to each other or may be stipulated as a condition for any conditional use permit.
      (2)   Exception: Additions or enlargements of existing uses or structures which do not increase floor area, impervious coverage or increase in number of dwelling units by more than 20% of the building established on the site on the effective date of this ordinance. Where such cumulative additions, enlargements, or additional dwelling units are 20% or greater, these provisions shall apply only to that portion where the new development occurs.
   (b)   A fence, wall, berm, or shrubbery four feet in height and of a character necessary for adequate screening of a parking lot from adjacent residentially used property shall be provided.
   (c)   The buffer yard amount is based on the compatibility of the adjacent development and the Shape Sioux Falls compatibility chart in chapter 4 of the plan. Buffer yards for certain nonresidential and multifamily planned development are required when adjacent to all DD and AD forms. Buffer yards are also required when adjacent to greenways (GW) and highways (HW).
   (d)   Buffer yards are here organized into four levels—A, B, C, and D. A buffer yard may be required within any front, rear, or side yard.
   (e)   Also, any buffer yard includes the amount of the front, rear, or side yard setback depending on which are adjacent to DD, AD, or MD forms. However, the buffer yard does not include any additional setback for height over 55 feet required with some forms. The landscaping that is required within each of the buffer yards is based on a plant unit basis. Existing trees above ten-inch caliper may count towards double the plant units if the existing tree can be used as part of the buffer yard. Below is the criteria for various plants and their plant units.
 
Type
Size
Plant Units
Deciduous
2" min. caliper
7.5
Ornamental
1.5" min. caliper
5.0
Conifer/Evergreen
6' min. height
7.5
Upright Evergreen (i.e., juniper or arborvitae)
4' min. height
2.5
Shrub
18" to 24" spread
1.0
Perennial/Ornamental
1 gallon
1.0
 
   (f)   Below are the criteria for each type of buffer yard.
      (1)   Level A: 10-foot total setback with either a 2-foot berm or a 4-foot fence required within the buffer yard, but not on the property line, and with 20 units of landscaping for each 100 lineal feet or fraction thereof.
      (2)   Level B: 15-foot total setback with a 2-foot-high berm or a 4-foot fence required within the buffer yard and 30 units of landscaping for each 100 lineal feet or fraction thereof of buffer yard. As an option, a parking lot may encroach into the buffer yard by 5 feet that requires instead a 4-foot fence within the buffer yard, but not on the property line, but the same number of landscape units.
      (3)   Level C: 30-foot total setback with a 4-foot-high berm or a 6-foot fence required within the buffer yard and 40 units of landscaping for each 100 lineal feet or fraction thereof of buffer yard. As an option, a parking lot may encroach into the buffer yard up to 10 feet that requires instead a 4-foot fence and 2-foot-high berm or a 6-foot fence within the buffer yard, but not on the property line, but the same number of landscape units.
      (4)   Level D: 45-foot total setback with a 6-foot-high berm and 50 units of landscaping for each 100 lineal feet or fraction thereof of buffer yard. As an option, a parking lot may encroach into the buffer yard up to 10 feet that requires instead a 4-foot fence, wall, or hedge and 4 foot-high berm within the buffer yard, but not on the property line, but the same number of landscape units.
      (5)   A local or collector street ROW may count as 50% of the buffer yard; however, there must still be enough of a buffer yard to provide the required units of landscaping and a fence or hedge at the same height as required by each level of buffer yard. An arterial ROW satisfies the entire buffer yard requirement.
      (6)   Berms shall have a maximum grade of 3 feet horizontal to 1 foot vertical and shall be sodded or planted with other acceptable living ground cover.
      (7)   Buffer yard § 160.599 landscaping units are in addition to any other landscaping requirements in this chapter except as allowed in § 160.485(b)(1)A. No more than 50% of the total planting units may be deciduous trees, ornamental trees, or conifer/evergreen trees.
   (g)   If a developer or landowner has an alternative method to provide an adequate buffer yard, application can be made for an alternative site plan per the regulations in §§ 160.594 et seq. (Alternative Site Plans).
   (h)   Buffer yard by form. Buffer yards are listed in the chart below. The developing form is responsible for constructing and maintaining the buffer yard area. Each buffer yard is also listed within the form regulations of this zoning chapter, §§ 160.050160.405.
 
   (i)   When an application for a building permit is received and the buffer yard is adjacent to undeveloped land that is zoned, the buffer yard shall be based on the primary form within the adjacent zoning district.
(Ord. 9-13, passed 3-19-2013; Ord. 79-14, passed 10-14-2014; Ord. 22-15, passed 3-3-2015; Ord. 23-16, passed 4-5-2016; Ord. 37-19, passed 4-2-2019; Ord. 16-21, passed 2-2-2021)