Public Invited to Discuss Potential Landscaping Ordinance

Release Date: 
04/06/2015

Hermiston, Ore. – The public is invited to attend an open house to review and offer comments on a potential ordinance which would set minimum landscaping standards for all new commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential developments in Hermiston.  The open house will begin at 4 p.m. on May 7, 2015 at Hermiston City Hall, and run until 6 p.m.

The proposed language for the ordinance would require a minimum of 6% of the developed area in the Outlying Commercial Zone (C-2) to be landscaped.  The minimum requirement would be 3% of the developed area in the Central Commercial Zone (C-1).  Properties in the Downtown Commercial Overlay (DCO) would be able to meet the landscaping requirements by using alternate enhancements, such as planter boxes, hanging baskets, decorative lighting, and others.

In the Industrial Zones (M-1 & M-2), the minimum landscaping requirement would be 3%, or 10,000 square feet, whichever is less.  Industrial sites larger than 5 acres could also plant trees along street frontages to screen the development, in lieu of part of the landscaping requirement.

The only residential properties which would be required to meet landscaping standards are Multiple Family Residential Developments.  Multi-Family developments would be required to install landscaping on at least 15% of the developed area.

The proposed ordinance would only apply to new development within the City.  The proposed language also includes reference to a reference handbook of design examples and illustrations.  A full copy of the proposed language is available at www.hermiston.or.us.

Creation of a landscape ordinance is a City Council priority and was assigned to the Community Enhancement Committee (CEC) when it was formed in the Spring of 2014.  Since that time, city staff researched similar ordinances in similarly sized communities and presented initial draft language to the CEC in the Fall of 2014.  The CEC developed the ordinance further over several months before forwarding a copy to the city’s Planning Commission for an initial review.  The Planning Commission reviewed the ordinance at their March 11 meeting and made additional comments and changes to the proposal. 

The CEC and Planning Commission wish to gather additional public input on the initial proposed ordinance and will host an Open House to solicit input and suggestions.  After the Open House, the public comments will be reviewed and incorporated in to the proposed ordinance, and the proposal will be presented to the City Council.  After review by the City Council, the Council may offer additional comments and amendments before sending it to the Planning Commission for a public hearing, or the Council may choose not to move forward with the ordinance.

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The City of Hermiston is a vibrant, and growing community of 17,345 residents located at the cross-roads of the Pacific Northwest.  Located near the intersection of Interstate 84 and Interstate 82, just minutes from a Columbia River port and the Washington state line, Hermiston is capitalizing on its strategic location as a transportation center and gateway to Oregon.  To learn more about the exciting future of Eastern Oregon’s largest city, go to www.hermiston.or.us

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