17.26.070 – Landscape buffers

  1. The Landscape Plan shall provide for Landscape Buffers to enhance privacy and provide screening between dissimilar uses, wherever the zoning district regulations require a Landscape Buffer Yard. Where Landscape Buffers overlap with other landscape requirements with respect to the same physical area on the lot, the requirement that yields more intensive landscaping shall apply, but the requirements need not be added together.
  2. The Director of Community Development, in the case of Design Review, or the City Council, in the case of a Planned Unit Development, may reduce or waive the requirements of this Section where existing conditions make it impractical to provide the required Landscape Buffer, or where providing the Landscape Buffer would serve no practical purpose. Examples include, but are not limited to, instances where existing topography or structures effectively screen the more intensive use and provide a measure of privacy to the less intensive use.
  3. Within required Landscape Buffers along common property lines, opaque, year-round screening shall be provided by means of berming, landscaping, fencing and/or decorative walls to a height of six feet (6’) above the grade of the common property line.
  4. Along right of way lines, where a Landscape Buffer of forty feet or more in width is required, opaque, year-round screening shall be provided by means of berming, landscaping, fencing and/or decorative walls, to a minimum height of six feet (6’) above the grade of the right of way line. Such opaque, year-round screening shall be designed so that the first twenty feet (20’) of the Landscape Buffer abutting the right of way line is relatively open and consists primarily of landscaping, and the elements of screening that provide opacity are located twenty feet (20’) or more from the right of way line. Opaque, year-round screening is not required within Landscape Buffers of less than 40 feet in width along right of way lines.
  5. For each 400 square feet of required Landscape Buffer, there shall be at least one shade tree or two evergreen trees, plus ornamental trees, shrubs, ornamental grasses, or perennials as needed to soften the appearance of solid forms such as fences, walls and berms that may used to provide a visual screen.
  6. If a new building or outdoor use is added on a lot where other buildings or uses exist, a Landscape Buffer, where required by the district regulations, shall be provided to buffer adjoining lots from the new building or use, but an additional Landscape Buffer beyond that which is required for the new building or use need not be provided to buffer adjoining lots from the existing buildings or uses.
(2011-Z-1: § 22)