§ 154.281  USE, LOCATION AND DESIGN OF OPEN SPACE GENERALLY.
   (A)   Open space provided to meet minimum open space requirements must be in one or more parcels dedicated or otherwise protected as permanent, active or passive open space.
   (B)   Open space must be dedicated or reserved for one or more of the following uses:
      (1)   Conservation and protection of, any readily identifiable natural hazard areas, i.e., areas that potentially pose a significant hazard to people or property (e.g., floodplains, wetlands and lands whose slope and/or soils make them particularly susceptible to subsidence or erosion when disturbed by development activities);
      (2)   Conservation and protection of any identified significant natural areas (e.g., stream corridors, woodlands, rare plant communities, important wildlife habitat and the like) or other environmentally sensitive areas where development might threaten water quality or ecosystems;
      (3)   Conservation and protection of any identified, significant historic or cultural resources;
      (4)   Compatible agricultural and horticultural uses (e.g., pastureland for horses, greenhouses, pick-your-own operations, community supported agriculture and the like); or
      (5)   Provision of outdoor recreation opportunities including, but not limited to, bikeways, walking trails, equestrian trails and picnic areas, either for the general public or for the subdivision’s residents and their guests. Not more than 5% of total open space may be utilized for ball fields, playgrounds, tennis courts, swimming pools, basketball courts and similar uses. Golf courses shall receive and maintain designation as a certified Audubon cooperative sanctuary and shall, to the extent practicable, maximize water quality benefits through the following practices:
         (a)   Use of reclaimed water;
         (b)   Use of native wetland vegetation along ponds; and
         (c)   Use of landscaping design and plant material that emphasize native species, promote biodiversity and require limited use of pesticides. No more than 50% of the open space in the golf course may be fairways, putting greens, practice areas and other areas maintained solely by mowing.
Commentary:
   
This provision is not intended to preclude a membership requirement or monetary charge for use of recreation facilities such as a golf, swim or tennis club, as long as subdivision residents have an opportunity to join the club or pay to use club facilities.
   (C)   Highest priority for the location, design and use of open space must be given to conserving, and avoiding development in, any natural hazard areas on the subdivision site including but not limited to hydric soils, steep slopes, high water tables and the like. Approval of development on steep slopes shall not be unreasonably withheld.
   (D)   Roadways and building lots should be located to respect natural features and to maximize exposure of building lots to preserved open space.
   (E)   Open space may contain only buildings, structures and improvements that are integral and accessory to its function (as open space). Examples of features that may qualify under this standard include pedestrian/bicycle paths, pedestrian amenities, driveways that provided necessary access to the open space, shelters and utility-related structures that provide service to the open space area.
   (F)   The location, size, character and shape of required open space should be appropriate for its intended use (e.g., open space proposed to be used for recreation, particularly active recreation, should be located and designed so that it can be accessed conveniently and safely by intended users, and open space to be used for playing fields or other active recreational facilities should be located on land that is relatively flat and dry).
   (G)   Open space should be designed to form an interconnected network of reasonable width, with provisions for linkages to existing or potential open space on adjoining properties. Fragmentation of open space into isolated, unconnected pieces should be avoided, except to provide neighborhood parks and commons.
   (H)   Pathways within open space and sidewalks along roadways should be provided to connect to surrounding pedestrian/bicycle networks. This section is not intended to limit or define the type of materials used for the pathways.
   (I)   Open space should be used as part of an integrated stormwater management approach to maintain natural drainage patterns, attenuate water quality impacts, replenish groundwater (e.g., through bio-retention facilities such as infiltration trenches and rain gardens) and incorporate detention facilities as visual and environmental amenities such as ponds.
   (J)   Parkland and school sites dedicated in excess of the minimum requirements of the Chapter 91, Parks and Playgrounds and Chapter 160, the County School Site Contribution Chapter will be counted towards meeting minimum open space requirements in conservation design subdivisions.
(Ord. passed 7-8-1970; Res. 09-167, passed 6-18-2009)