As our city grows, I believe (if it isn't already part of the requirements of new development), that new commercial construction must include at least 10% green-space. This is to prevent our city from becoming all brick, glass, concrete, parking garages, parking lots etc. It can be accomplished in the form of landscaping, wide areas of grass and trees. It cannot include INDOOR green-space. I'd also add that a good portion of that green space should be flowering plants. Not the non-flowering (low insect) crops you see popping up everywhere.

Or offer a tax incentive (break) to those developers that include at least 10% green-space in their construction.

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Adam Fletcher admin over 2 years ago

Hi Cardo, Thank you for your concern about green space in the City.

For many years the City required a landscaped area of 15% of the area used for parking and maneuvering. However, in 2012 the City adopted new landscaping regulations, which were written to build on the then current regulations that required the 15% area noted above. The base requirement of 15 percent was not increased but the "new" landscaping regulations further provide requirements for ensuring that developments and properties are developing in a way that is consistent with the guidelines of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. With the additional requirements that were implemented in 2012, depending upon site characteristics, properties now most likely end up providing more than 15 percent landscaping areas. Although there are several differences between the old regulations and the now current regulations, a main difference is that trees and shrubbery are now required to be planted in specific areas. In addition, a 10-foot landscaped buffer, between the parking lot and the public street, is now required (waivers used to be available) and the area cannot be counted toward the 15% minimum. Moreover, trees are required to be planted within the required landscaped buffer.

There are several other planting requirements that you might find interesting. If you would like to review the parking lot landscaping regulations, they are found at the following link: https://www2.municode.com/library/va/harrisonburg/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIITHCOGEOR_TIT10PLDE_CH3ZO_ARTGOREPA_S10-3-30.1PALOLA.

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