I'm busy trying to put band-aids on a really crappy zoning ordinance and am now seeking the guidance of the great and powerful Throbbing Brain (TM) on a couple of issues.
1. Now that a medium-box has moved in and moonscaped about five acres with cut/fill, we are looking for ways to prevent this style of development in the future as our terrain is part of what makes this place special. We have big boxes on the way that will put this measly five-acre development to shame when they start slicing & dicing, so we want to stop this activity before it gets worse. Anyone know of any cities or have any suggestions for how to handle this?
2. The City has now discovered that developers won't blink an eye at tree mitigation, so they want enhanced protections for extremely large trees. Someone suggested to me that we consider establishing a requirement for specimen trees that are a certain percentage of the size of the largest tree of that species. We also have a problem in that developers are opting to cut all of the trees and mitigate. Is it possible to require more inches mitigated than actually existed prior on the site? Also, if anyone knows of some great tree ordinances, please let me know. Also, has anyone excluded a particular species of hardwood tree?
3. Our zoning ordinance contains no reference to mitigating increased impervious cover (actually, it has no performance criteria whatsoever). I would like a little advice as to whether I should go with a seperate drainage ordinance or try to incorporate it into the zoning ordinance.
Note: In the ideal, perfect world I would slap a moratorium on construction & platting for about a year and redo every ordinance on the books. Unfortunately, the budget doesn't have the money for a consultant and I don't have the time on top of day-to-day operations.