7.6 Screening

.1 Purpose

The purpose of a screen is to provide a visual barrier between an unsightly or out of scale development feature and the view from public streets and abutting properties. It is required as specified below:

(a) dumpster or trash handling areas: opaque screen

(b) mechanical equipment at ground level or rooftop equipment: opaque screen

(c) service entrances or utility facilities for building operation: semi-opaque screen

(d) loading docks or spaces: semi-opaque screen

(e) above ground backflow preventer: semi-opaque

(f) all other uses for which screening is specifically required under these regulations (see Article 9, Conditions for Certain Uses).

.2 Opaque Screen

(a) Intent

An opaque screen is intended to exclude all visual contact with the screened structure or use.

(b) Composition

An opaque screen may be composed of:

  • a wall
  • wood fence
  • planted vegetation
  • existing vegetation
  • a combination of these elements which will meet the purpose of the requirement

(c) Width

The width of the screen is that which is necessary to accommodate the screening materials.
(d) Location

To provide maximum sight line obstruction, a screen shall be placed immediately adjacent to the structure or use to be screened except as otherwise approved by staff.

(e) Performance

Performance of the screen shall meet or exceed the following standards:

(1) To produce an opaque screen, intermittent planting of deciduous and evergreen trees shall obtain a height at maturity of no less than 35 feet and have no unobstructed openings between tree canopies upon maturity.

(2) At installation, shrub plantings shall have a minimum height of 3 feet with an expected height at maturity at least 12 feet, and no unobstructed openings wider than four feet.

(3) At least 50% of the required trees and at least 75% of the required shrubs shall be evergreen species.

(4) A structural screening material such as a wall or wood fence must be augmented with vegetation. Exceptions may include the screening of dumpsters in rear yard parking lots. Man-made berms are not permitted along public streets as a means of meeting the screening requirement of this section. Natural changes in topography will, however, be taken into account when evaluating sight lines.

.3 Semi-Opaque Screens

(a) Intent

A semi-opaque screen is intended to obscure visual contact with the screened structure or use. It can be used as a device to reduce the perceived scale and massing of a structure and to enhance its compatibility with the existing built and natural environment.
(b) Composition

An semi-opaque screen may be composed of:

  • a wall
  • wood fence
  • planted vegetation
  • existing vegetation
  • a combination of these elements which will meet the purpose of the requirement

(c) Width

The width of the screen is that which is necessary to accommodate the screening materials.

(d) Location

To provide maximum sight line obstruction, a screen shall be placed immediately adjacent to the structure or use to be screened except as otherwise approved by staff.

(e) Performance

Performance of the screen shall meet or exceed the following standards:

(1) To produce a semi-opaque screen, intermittent planting of deciduous and evergreen trees shall obtain a height at maturity of no less than 35 feet and have no unobstructed openings wider than 10 feet between tree canopies upon maturity.

(2) At installation, shrub plantings shall have a minimum height of 3 feet, expected height of at least 6 feet at maturity, and no unobstructed openings wider than four feet.

(3) At least 75% of the required shrubs shall be evergreen species.

(4) When the builder or developer chooses a structural screening material such as a wall or wood fence, it shall be augmented with shrubs planted 6 feet on center. Man-made berms are not permitted along public streets, as a means of meeting the screening requirements of this section. Natural changes in topography will, however, be taken into account when evaluating sight lines.