(A)   Buffering requirements. A buffering zone shall be established within the setback of the subject site, screening it from adjacent sites according to Table 10-1.  Walls are prohibited from areas along a public street right-of-way or front yard unless approved by the City Commission.  The height of the wall or berm of the subject site shall be an effective height in relation to the adjacent site.  Walls shall meet the standards described in § 155.297(D) and berms those of § 155.297(E).  Buffers that utilize a combination of plant materials, berms, and walls shall be encouraged.
TABLE 10-1
Buffering Requirements
Subject Site
Buffering Requirements from Adjacent Sites
Single Family and Duplex Residences
Multi-Family, General Commercial and Offices Uses, Central Business District and Municipal Center Uses
Plantings* or a 6 foot wall/berm from all uses
Industrial Uses
Plantings* or an 8 foot wall/berm from all uses
*Plantings shall consist of two trees, either canopy and/or deciduous, and four large shrubs per each 25 linear feet along the property line.
   (B)   When an adjacent property is zoned or used as a single family residence, and is across a public street from the subject site, the City Commission may require additional landscaping to screen parking lots access drives, loading zones, outdoor display areas, storage yards, or accessory structures.
   (C)   Parking and storage.
      (1)   Parking lot screens will be designed with a hedge, wall, berm or combination thereof forming a continuous screen at least 48 inches in height above parking lot grade.  The parking lot screen shall be located in the buffer zone to provide maximum screening of the parking lot.  Walls shall be set back a minimum of five feet from the property line.
      (2)   All loading and unloading areas which are visible from residential districts or public thoroughfares, shall be screened by a vertical screen consisting of structural or plant materials no less than six feet in height.  Screening shall be sufficient to contain blowing debris and screen the loading and unloading areas from adjacent property owners.
      (3)   All storage areas (including areas for storage of refuse) shall be screened on four sides by a fence or wall no less than six feet in height.  Three screened sides may be allowed with Planning Commission approval if the applicant can demonstrate just cause. The fence or wall shall not allow light to penetrate through it. The four sides screened shall be those sides where the potential visual impact of the storage areas is greatest for adjacent property owners.
   (D)   Buffer wall standards. Required walls shall comply with the standards listed below.
      (1)   Walls shall be located on the lot line except where underground utilities interfere and/or where this chapter requires conformance with yard setback lines.
      (2)   Walls shall have no openings for vehicular traffic or other purposes, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, unless specifically approved by the City Commission.
      (3)   Walls shall be constructed of decorative concrete block, brick, pressure treated wood, or comparable nonporous materials on the exterior sides facing an affected district.
      (4)   Walls shall be durable, weather resistant, rustproof and easily maintainable.  Wood or wood products shall be high quality durable materials as approved by the Building Inspector.  Wood fences shall be sight obscuring sufficient to shield light and block blowing debris.  Masonry walls may be constructed with openings which do not in any square section (height and width) exceed 20% of the surface.  Where walls are so pierced, the openings shall be so spaced as to maintain the obscuring character required and shall not reduce minimum height requirement.
      (5)   Walls must be maintained in good condition by the property owner.
      (6)   Curbing, bollards, or plant material shall be required where parking is adjacent to walls.  Bumper blocks shall not be permitted.
   (E)   Berm standards. Required berms shall be constructed as landscaped earth mounds with a crest area at least four feet in width.  The exterior face of the berm shall be constructed as an earthen slope.  The interior face of the berm may be constructed as a earthen slope or retained by means of a wall, terrace or other means acceptable to the Building Department.  Whenever an earthen slope is provided, it shall be constructed with a slope not to exceed one foot of vertical rise to three feet of horizontal distance (1:3) (see illustration).  Free form naturalistic contouring and berm shaping is encouraged.
(Ord. 616, passed 9-23-2013)