New development shall provide buffering yards as provided in Section 1175.10.  Existing vegetation shall be preserved in accordance to acceptable nursery industry procedures.  The following items are suitable for screening use individually or in combination with each other provided they create a dense screen, subject to review and approval by the Planning Commission.  Nursery stock identification tags shall not be removed from any planting prior to inspection and approval of final installation by the City.
   (a)   Walls and Fences. When walls or fences are used to fulfill screening requirements, they shall be detailed on the plan.  They are to be of weather-proof materials.  This includes pressure treating or painting of lumber if it is not redwood or cedar and using aluminum or galvanized hardware.  Chain link fences with or without wooded or synthetic slat material shall not be allowed when used to satisfy bufferyard and landscaping requirements.
   (b)   Plants. All plants are to be living and part of the acceptable plants list identified in the following section.  Plant materials used in conformance with the provision of this section shall conform to the standards of the American Association of Nurserymen and shall have passed any inspection required under state regulations.  Trees shall be balled and burlapped or in containers.  Shrubs, vines and ground covers can be planted as bare root as well as balled and burlapped or containers.
      (1)   Deciduous trees. Deciduous trees shall have a minimum caliper of at least 2½ inches conforming to acceptable nursery industry procedures at the time of planting.  If deciduous trees are to be used for screening purposes, additional materials listed in this Section must be used to create a dense buffer.
      (2)   Evergreen trees.  Evergreen trees shall be a minimum of six feet (6') in height at the time of planting.  Evergreen plantings shall be designed to provide an effective, dense screen within four (4) years of planting.
      (3)   Shrubs and hedges.  Shrubs and hedges shall be at least thirty-six  inches (36") in height at the time of planting.  All shrubs and hedges shall be designed to provide an effective, dense screen and mature height of at least six feet (6') within four (4) years after the date of the final approval of each planting.  The height at installation of the planting shall be measured from the level of the surface of the plant base at the edge closest to the screening.
      (4)   Grass or ground cover.  Grass of the Fescus (Gramineak) or Bluegrass (Poaceae) family shall be planted in species normally grown as permanent lawns in Montgomery County.  In swales or other areas subject to erosion, solid sod, erosion reducing net, or suitable mulch shall be used and nurse grass seed shall be sown for immediate protection until complete coverage otherwise is achieved.  Grass sod shall be clean and free of weeds and noxious pests or diseases.  Ground cover shall be planted in such a manner as to provide 75% complete coverage after two growing seasons.
      (5)   Earth mounds.  Earth mounds may be used as physical barriers which block or screen a view.  Differences in elevation between areas requiring screening does not constitute an earth mound.  Earth mounds shall be constructed of earthen materials and shall conform to the following standards:
         A.   The maximum side slope shall be three horizontal to one vertical (3:1) and the design shall be reviewed by the Planning Commission to ensure that proper erosion prevention and control practices have been utilized.
         B.   Berms and earthforms shall be designed with physical variations in height and alignment throughout their length.
         C.   Landscape plant material installed on berms and earthforms shall be arranged in an irregular pattern to accentuate the physical variation and achieve a natural appearance.
         D.   The landscape plan shall show sufficient detail, including a plan and profile of the berm or earthform, soil types and construction techniques to demonstrate compliance with the above provisions.
         E.   Berms and earthforms shall be located and designed to minimize the disturbance to existing trees located on the site or adjacent thereto.
         F.   No part of any berm or earthform which is elevated more than eighteen inches (18") above natural grade shall be located within  twenty feet (20') of any right-of-way or property line.
         G.   Adequate ground cover shall be used and maintained to prevent erosion of the earth mound.
   (c)   Maintenance of Landscaping and Bufferyards.  All landscaping materials shall be installed and maintained according to accepted nursery industry procedures.  The owner of the property shall be responsible for the continued property maintenance of all landscaping materials, and shall keep them in a proper, neat and orderly appearance, free from refuse and debris at all times.  All unhealthy or dead plant material shall be replaced within one year, or by the next planting period, whichever comes first.  Violation of these installation and maintenance provisions shall be grounds for the Zoning Administrator to refuse a building occupancy permit, require replacement of the landscape material or institute legal proceedings to enforce the provisions of this section.  Landscaping that cannot be installed because of inclement weather shall be installed as soon as weather permits as determined by the Zoning Administrator.  In cases where landscaping cannot be installed prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy, a landscaping bond shall be provided to the City in an amount sufficient to pay for all required grass and landscaping requirements.  Any individual or single landscaped area larger than 5,000 square feet shall be irrigated with an in-ground sprinkler system.
   (d)   Bufferyard Establishment.  Once a bufferyard has been approved by the Planning Commission and established by the owner, it may not be used, disturbed or altered for any purpose.
      (Ord. 45-08. Passed 12-15-08.)