City Considers Landscape Ordinance Change
At their Jan. 31 meeting, the Pierre City Commission heard recommendations for changing the City’s landscape ordinance. According to City Planner Sharon Pruess the goal of the changes is to make the ordinance more flexible.
“We’re working to find the right balance between development and landscaping in commercial areas,” said Pruess. “We certainly want to encourage economic progress, but we also want our community to remain healthy and visually pleasing.”
With flexibility in mind, the City staff is recommending two primary changes to the law. For all new commercial developments and major redevelopment of existing commercial property, the current ordinance requires a 10 foot landscape strip along the street frontage of lots and one tree per 50 feet of street frontage.
The recommended changes require that 10% of a lot be landscaped in accordance with a points-based system and the requirements can be achieved without trees on the property.
“The ordinance becomes less prescriptive; it doesn’t dictate where the landscaping must be and allows property owners to mix and match landscaping features to meet the thresholds of the ordinance,” said Pruess.
City Administrator Kristi Honeywell added, “We know greenspace provides environmental and health benefits. Nothing in the plan would prohibit property owners from installing more landscaping than the minimums outlined in the draft ordinance.”
The recommended change will be back in front of the City Commission for a public hearing and commission consideration on February 14. The draft ordinance can be found at cityofpierre.org.