BAXTER — After making time to reconsider changes to the city’s landscaping ordinance, Baxter City Council members approved revisions Tuesday.
Revisions include more options for commercial property to use native grasses, which the earlier ordinance revisions didn’t allow.
Council member Todd Holman said native species consume a significantly smaller amount of water resources to thrive, which is more sustainable.
“I’ve been a big advocate of trying to get it in there,” Holman said after the meeting.
It’s a cultural change, he said, from Kentucky bluegrass to big stem grasses. Native seeding may be approved by the zoning administrator with a site plan and planting schedule. Depending on the size, location and visibility of the native area next to adjacent properties and the right-of-way, the administrator may refer the item to the city council for consideration. The city ordinance states all native areas shall be established to 90 percent coverage and maintained to that level.
The landscaping ordinance notes top priority will be given to establishing landscaping in front areas between buildings and streets with a secondary priority for the perimeter.
A minimum of one deciduous tree is required in the front yard but the city removed a requirement of at least 1.5 inch diameter trunk.
Transplanting of existing trees is encouraged. Credit is given for existing trees.