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Multiple Family Bufferyard

Bufferyard Guidelines

  1. See Section 34-5.14 of the Zoning Ordinance for details. ALWAYS CHECK FOR AMENDMENTS.
  2. Bufferyards may not be required where the abutting RA District has a nonresidential use.
  3. Where existing plantings are to be utilized, temporary snow fencing should be installed and no grading or disturbance should be allowed within this zone. Existing vegetation should be noted as to its variety, size and location.
  4. The intent of the buffering is a softening effect and is not intended to totally obscure the multiple-family buildings. Unless fewer are required, the small deciduous trees and evergreens should be in minimum groups of three (3), the shrubs in minimum groups of five (5), and the deciduous trees should be evenly distributed throughout the bufferyard.
  5. The bufferyard plantings should be indicated on the same plans as the front yard landscape plan.
  6. Bufferyard plantings will be required in yards occupied by water retention areas.

Bufferyard Table

The following table can be used as a guide to the “plant unit multipliers” as outlined in the Zoning Ordinance. The depth is defined as the number of feet between the building and the RA District (the closest point applies for buildings that are irregularly shaped and/or that are not parallel to the RA District). The width is defined as the width of the building as measured parallel to the property line plus the number of feet to an off-street parking area or to the midpoint between buildings, where applicable (see diagram).

To use the table, determine the depth and width of the required bufferyard and follow the table down and across. The box where they meet indicates the required number of: a) large deciduous trees, b) small deciduous trees, c) large shrubs, and d) evergreen trees.

If the bufferyard depth exceeds 125 feet, the column for 125 feet is utilized. If the bufferyard width exceeds 100 feet (the maximum indicated in the table), the number of plantings required for the width in excess of 100 feet can be added to the required number of plantings for 100 feet in determining how many plantings are needed for said yard.


Bufferyard depth – 70 feet
Bufferyard width – 170 feet
Step No. 1 D = 70' W = 100' a = 1
b = 2
c = 5
d = 1
Step No. 2 D = 70' W = 70' a = 1
B = 2
c = 5
d = 1
Step No. 3 Add total of
a, b, c and d
a = 2
B = 4
c = 10
d = 2

Number of Plant Materials Required

Bufferyard Requirements Diagram

Bufferyard Requirements