City of Monroe, WI
Green County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 5-16-1 Purpose.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
The bufferyard is a unit of yard and the planting required thereon. Both the amount of land and the type and amount of planting specified for each bufferyard requirement of this chapter are designed to reduce incompatibilities between adjacent land uses or between a land use and a public road. Bufferyards are intended to separate different land uses from each other and thereby eliminate or minimize potential nuisances such as dirt, litter, noise, glare of lights, signs, and unsightly buildings or parking areas, or to provide spacing to reduce adverse impacts and noise, odor, or danger from fires or explosions.

§ 5-16-2 Location of bufferyards.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
Bufferyards shall be located on the outer perimeter of a lot or parcel, extending to the lot or parcel boundary line. Bufferyards shall not be located on any portion of an existing or dedicated public or private street or right of way.

§ 5-16-3 Determination of bufferyard requirements.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
(A) 
The bufferyard required in a particular case shall be determined from the table and illustrations in section 5-16-10 of this chapter.
(B) 
Responsibility for bufferyard.
(1) 
When a use is the first to develop on two adjacent vacant parcels, this first use shall provide the buffer which is required next to vacant land.
(2) 
The second use to develop shall, when it develops, provide all additional plant material and land necessary to provide the total bufferyard required between those two uses.
(C) 
Plant material and land located on the pre-existing (first developed) land use which meets the requirements of this Chapter may be counted as contributing to the total bufferyard required between it and the second (adjacent) land use to develop.

§ 5-16-4 Bufferyard requirements.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
(A) 
The illustrations in section 5-16-10 of this chapter graphically show the specifications of each bufferyard. Each illustration depicts the total bufferyard located between two uses. Bufferyard requirements are stated in terms of the width of the bufferyard and the number of plant units required per 100 linear feet of bufferyard. The requirements of a bufferyard may be satisfied by any of the options illustrated. The "plant and multiplier" is a factor by which the basic number of plant materials required for a given bufferyard is determined given a change in the width of that yard. The type and quantity of plant materials required by each bufferyard, and each bufferyard option, are specified in this section. A list of acceptable plant materials shall be kept on file in the city engineer's office.
(B) 
Whenever a wall, fence, or berm is required within a bufferyard, these are shown as "structure required" in the illustrations, and their respective specifications are also shown. All required structures shall be the responsibility of the higher intensity use. Whenever a wall is required in addition to a berm, the wall shall be located between the berm and the higher intensity use to provide maximum sound absorption.
(C) 
The following plant material substitutions shall satisfy the requirements of this section.
(1) 
In bufferyards D and E, evergreen canopy or evergreen understory trees may be substituted for deciduous canopy forest trees without limitation.
(2) 
In bufferyards A, B and C, evergreen canopy or evergreen understory trees may be substituted as follows:
A) 
In the case of deciduous canopy forest trees, up to a maximum of 50 percent of the total number of the deciduous canopy trees otherwise required.
B) 
In the case of deciduous understory, without limitation.
(3) 
In all bufferyards, evergreen or conifer shrubs may be substituted for deciduous shrubs without limitation.
(4) 
In all bufferyards required of public service uses, the public service use may substitute evergreen canopy or evergreen understory plant materials for canopy forest trees and understory plant materials, without limitation.
(D) 
The following structures are equivalent and may be used interchangeably, so long as both structures are specified in the bufferyard illustrations.
Structure
Equivalent Structure
F3
B1
F4
B2
F5
B3
F6
BW1
B1
F3
B2
F4
B3
F5
BW1
F6
(E) 
If the development on the adjoining use is existing or planned for solar access, understory trees may be substituted for canopy trees where canopy trees would destroy solar access.
(F) 
Any plant material existing at the time buffer requirements are being considered, which otherwise satisfies the requirements of this section, may be counted toward satisfying all such requirements.
(G) 
The exact placement of plants and structures shall be the decision of each user, except that the following requirements shall be satisfied:
(1) 
Evergreen (or conifer) plant materials shall be planted in clusters rather than singly to maximize their chances of survival.
(2) 
Berms with masonry walls (BW1, BW2, and BW3) required on bufferyard J and K options are intended to buffer more significant nuisances from adjacent uses, and, additionally, to break up and absorb noise, which is achieved by the varied heights of plant materials between the masonry wall and the noise source.
A) 
When berms with walls are required, the masonry wall shall be closer than the berm to the higher intensity use.
B) 
With a bufferyard, a planting area at least five feet wide containing 15 percent of the total plant requirements (based on the multiplier = 1) shall be located between the masonry wall and the higher intensity class use. These plants shall be chosen to provide species and sizes to reduce noise in conjunction with the wall.

§ 5-16-5 Use of bufferyards.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
(A) 
A bufferyard may be used for passive recreation; it may contain pedestrian, bike, or equestrian trails, provided that:
(1) 
No plant material is eliminated,
(2) 
The total width of the bufferyard is maintained, and
(3) 
All other regulations of this title are met.
(B) 
The following uses shall not be permitted in bufferyards: ice skating rinks, play fields, ski hills, stables, swimming pools, and tennis courts.

§ 5-16-6 Ownership of bufferyards.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
Bufferyards may remain in the ownership of the original developer (and assigns) of a land use, or they may be subjected to restrictive covenants and may be freely conveyed, or they may be transferred to any consenting grantees, such as adjoining landowners, a park, the city, or an open-space conservation group, if any such conveyance adequately guarantees the protection of the bufferyards for the purposes of this chapter.

§ 5-16-7 Excess bufferyard.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
Where the bufferyard required between a land use and vacant land is greater than that bufferyard which is required between the first use and a later developed use, the following options apply:
(A) 
The later use may provide one-half of the buffer required. The first use may expand its use into the original buffer area, if the resulting bufferyard between the two uses meets the total bufferyard requirement.
(B) 
The first use may enter into agreements with abutting landowners to use its buffer to provide some or all of the required bufferyard of both land uses. The final buffer shall equal the total requirement. If such an agreement is made, the first use may provide the second use some or all of its required bufferyard and extra land on which it might develop. The first use may reduce its excess buffer by transferring part or all of the excess buffer to the adjoining landowner to serve as its buffer. Any remaining excess buffer area may be used by the first use for expansion of that use or for transfer by it to the adjoining landowner to expand that adjoining use.

§ 5-16-8 Contractual reduction of bufferyard abutting vacant land.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
When a land use is proposed adjacent to vacant land, and the owner of that vacant land enters into a contractual relationship with the owner of the land that is to be developed first, a reduced buffer may be provided by that first use if the contract contains a statement by the owner of the vacant land of the owner's intent to develop at no more than a specified land use intensity and an agreement by that vacant landowner to assume all responsibility for additional buffer, if needed by the later development of a more intense use than had been agreed upon.

§ 5-16-9 Minimum plant size.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
Except as otherwise set forth in this title, all plant materials shall meet the following minimum size standards:
Plant Material Type
Planting in Bufferyards Abutting Vacant Lands
All Other Plantings
Canopy Tree
Single Stem
1 1/2 inch caliper
2 1/2 inch caliper
Multi-Stem Clump
6 feet (height)
10 feet (height)
Understory Tree
4 feet (height)
1 1/2 inch caliper
Evergreen Tree
3 feet (height)
5 feet (height)
Shrub
Deciduous
15 inches (height)
24 inches (height)
Evergreen
23 inches (height)
18 inches (height)

§ 5-16-10 Table and illustrations.

[10-21-1986; 2016 Code]
See following pages for table and illustrations applicable to this chapter.
 5-16-10 Required Buffers Zones.tif
 5-16-9 Bufferyards.tif