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Landscaping requirements for businesses examined

March 7, 2007

Business property owners could possibly face stricter requirements regarding landscaping plans when constructing or reconstructing buildings after Fox Point's Tree Commission on March 5 began to consider amending the village code.

The code only asks those who are seeking a permit for site plans that show the location of landscaped areas in addition to the location of drainage, buildings, fences, walls, signs, lighting and parking.

Commission members suggested that the code include a requirement that the plan specify the location and types of vegetation that would occur on the site.

"What struck me when I went through this was that the landscape plan is not meant to be aesthetic from all vantage points, which is disturbing," committee chairman and Village Trustee Louise Petering said.

The commission also is concerned with a section of the code that requires a business to landscape and maintain space 20 feet between itself and residential land or streets.

"What that really means is grass," Village Forester Judy Shirley said. "If I am a landscaper and I want to save a buck, then that is grass."

The section does not require sound or light buffers between the business and surrounding neighborhood, commissioners said.

"This really doesn't create a tree canopy or vegetation that quiets," Petering said.

Shirley suggested commissioners survey the landscaping around businesses throughout the village on their own.

The commissioners will continue discussing the issue at their next meeting Monday, April 2.

Brendan O'Brien can be reached at (262) 317-8586. His e-mail address is bobrien@cninewsonline.com.

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