Article 19. Buffers Required

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Section 19.1. INTENT.

It is recognized the transition from one district to another or from one use to another of contrasting and conflicting uses is across a barrier and line in theory and not in existence. Therefore, it shall be the intent of this article to require the actual provision of a physical barrier so as to reduce possible harmful or detrimental influences one district or use may have upon adjoining uses.



The following conditions shall require a buffer:

  • All industrial districts that abut a residential district shall be buffered as required in this Article.
  • Any lot located in any commercial or industrial district having both its front and rear lines abutting a public thoroughfare (a double frontage lot) shall be buffered from the thoroughfare abutting its rear line by one of the buffer methods set forth in this article.
  • Any storage facility or yard, loading yard, or equipment storage/staging area in any commercial or industrial district which abuts a public street shall be restricted from public view by a buffer.
  • Any other uses or districts abutting residential properties determined to be more intensive in nature or as recommended by the Board of Adjustment.



Buffers required under the provisions of this article or elsewhere in this ordinance shall be accomplished by any one or approved combination of the following methods:

A Man-made Buffer:
Shall be not less than six feet (6’) in height and constructed of a permanent low maintenance material. The wall shall be designed for both structural adequacy and aesthetic quality. The use of weather resistant wood, metal, concrete, brick, tile, or other manufactured substitutes shall be used as a primary material for aesthetic quality, as long as the buffer is opaquely screened.

A Natural Buffer:
Such natural buffer shall be not less than fifty feet (50’) in width and landscaped with evergreen type trees, shrubs and plants no less than six feet (6’) in height so as to assure year around effective screening. Natural screens shall maintain a density of planting adequate to serve as a solid and impenetrable screen. If a berm is used in combination with natural plantings, such shall be at least three feet (3’) in height with natural plantings no less than four feet (4’) on top of the berm to create a solid opaque natural screen.



The burden of’ provision and selection of the buffer shall be as follows:

  1. Where two different districts that require a buffer between them are both in an existing improved condition the above requirement is not retroactive, and should a buffer be desired, it shall be by mutual agreement between property owners or as otherwise provided by law. However, in the event of any or all of the improved property is abandoned, destroyed, demolished, etc., for the purpose of renewal, redevelopment, etc., that portion of such property being renewed, redeveloped, etc. shall be considered vacant land subject to the requirements herein.
  2. Where one of two different districts that require a buffer between them is partially developed the developer of the vacant land shall assume the burden.
  3. Where both districts that require a buffer between them are vacant or undeveloped, except for agricultural use, the developer shall assume the burden as the land is improved or developed.



Where the line between two zoning districts requiring a buffer follows a highway, railroad right- of-way, stream, creek, river, other waterway or other similar natural or man-made barrier, the requirement for a buffer may be waived by determination of the Zoning Administrator.


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