DISCLAIMER

 

PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE


08-021-O                                                          REPLACEMENT


ORDINANCE NO. __________


AN ORDINANCE AMENDING SECTION 50-143 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE, 1959, AS AMENDED.

CITY PROPOSAL:

     The city of Duluth does ordain:

     Section 1. That Section 50-143 of the Duluth City Code, as amended, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 50-143.     Limitations on variances.

     (a)  Except as provided in this Section, and Nnotwithstanding the provisions of Section 50-47 of this Code, no variance from the strict application of the requirements established in this Article shall be granted except a variation of not more than ten percent from any dimensional requirement and 20 percent from any off street parking requirement;

     (b)  When an approved plan is impacted as the result of a governmental taking pursuant to eminent domain powers, the limitation on variances provided in this Section shall not apply. In such case, building and parking setback variances may be granted pursuant to Section 50-140 of this Chapter and the following standards;

           (1)  An application for a variance from setback standards must include a landscape plan for the setback areas. The plan must evaluate the screening effect of the proposed landscaping and improvements in the setback area with a goal of achieving a mixture of berms, landscaping, decorative fencing, decorative wall structures and other techniques that enhance the appearance of the property when viewed from surrounding public rights-of-way;

           (2)  Landscape requirements may be met through placement of all or a portion of the required landscaping in the rights-of-way adjacent to the setback area provided that the landscaping be subject to a perpetual maintenance agreement between the owner of the rights-of-way and the applicant and such landscaping shall not be removed by either party unless replaced with landscaping that meets the requirements of this Code;

           (3)  The landscape plan supporting an application to reduce setbacks to a width of 10 feet or greater shall include a combination of two or more of the following elements: berms, canopy trees, shrubs, decorative fencing and other techniques that together screen the site when viewed from the public rights-of-way, such screening in the setback area between ground and an elevation four feet above the parking lot or building first floor elevation adjacent to the rights-of-way shall screen out at least 50 percent of the view;

           (4)  The landscape plan supporting an application to reduce setbacks to a width of between five feet and ten feet shall include a combination of two or more of the following elements: berms, ornamental trees, shrubs, decorative fencing and other techniques that together screen the site when viewed from the public rights-of-way, such screening in the setback area between ground and an elevation four feet above the parking lot or building first floor elevation adjacent to the rights-of-way shall screen out at least 50 percent of the view;

           (5)  Setbacks shall not be reduced to a width five feet or less unless the applicant, in addition to the required landscape plan, has submitted a site plan that meets the minimum values or dimensions set by city codes or regulations or other government laws or regulations, such as setbacks or parking lot design. The applicable minimum values or dimensions may be exceeded only where the existence of a hardship, as defined in Minnesota Statute 462.357 subd. 6(2), has been shown. Where a hardship is shown to exist, the variance from applicable minimum values or dimensions shall be the minimum necessary to provide a reasonable use. The landscape plan supporting the application shall include a combination of two or more of the following elements: shrubs, patterned walls, decorative fencing, and other techniques that together screen the site when viewed from the public rights-of-way, such screening between ground and an elevation four feet above the parking lot or building first floor elevation adjacent to the rights-of-way shall screen out at least 75 percent of the view;

     (c)  For the purposes of this Section, decorative fence shall be defined as powder coated steel, solid core ornamental fence, decorative wood fence, or similar. No form of chain link or highway guard rail shall be considered screening;

     (d)  For the purposes of this Section, patterned walls shall be defined as walls with a patterned or textured look to mimic stone or similar design or patterned to create reveals and shadow lines. No blank concrete or wood timber walls shall be permitted;

     (e)  All tree and shrub vegetated areas shall be constructed with drip irrigation systems to ensure plant survival. All plant species selected shall be suitable for use in Zone 3 and environments with exposure to deicing chemicals. All landscape plans shall show plant materials at 75 percent of mature size (height and width) for calculating of screening value to meet this requirement;

     (f)  All landscaping elements shall be continuously maintained and all nonviable plantings shall be immediately replaced.

     Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication.


ADMN/ATTY/PLNG     MAL/KD:tmf     3/14/2008


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This ordinance expands the limitations on variances that can be issued in C-5 districts when properties are impacted by eminent domain. The immediate need for this variance is properties impacted by roadway expansions in the mall area.