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"residential buffers"


It's probably about 12 years since I've posted here but I thought, "who better to ask?"

I've always thought of a residential buffer as a use other than residential that serves as a buffer between residential and some less desirable, non-residential use. e.g., retail between residential and light industrial. I also understand that some people use it to mean "greater setback requirements when a non-residential use adjoins a residential use." We also use conservation easements around creeks, wetlands, and other environmentally sensitive areas.

I just had this HOA board member call me who, in addition to knowing everything, was incredulous that we (the city) couldn't deliver county services (i.e., civil records and civil court services). He was also adamant that I was wrong when it came to "residential buffers." His complaint is primarily around noise from a bus depot owned by the school district (the school purchase of the land predates the subdivision). We now require a noise wall between commercial and residential but these two developments predate that addition to the code by about 10 years..

Does anyone require something like this concept of having a strip of fallow land, owned by a commercial development, that exists in addition to the typical setbacks?

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It sounds like we have what you have. Increased setbacks on the commercial/industrial property if residential is nearby with increased landscape setbacks, We require increased wall sizes between the two. When we get after the fact situations like this we allow the resident to increase their wall height to match the commercial requirement. I think the only thing that helps is that our increased landscape setbacks push vehicle areas out farther. We don't do any kind of easement or preservation land between the two.


We normally require Side Yard of 15 feet and Rear Yard of 20 feet with 5 foot landscaped at property line for each for Commercial type properties.

If adjacent to Residential zone, we require landscaped 50 feet Side and Rear Yards with no driveways or paving, or 20 feet landscaped with an approved (opaque) fence.

The adjacent R zoned properties also require their normal Rear and Side Yard Set Backs.