(1) The requirements contained in this chapter shall be deemed to be minimum standards for landscape and screening and shall apply to all new development, except for properties located in the C-2 central business district and the I-3 heavy industrial district. All properties developed in business park districts (Chapter 25.110 PMC) and all properties in the I-182 corridor overlay district (Chapter 25.130 PMC) shall comply with the provisions of this chapter and Chapters 25.110 and 25.130 PMC, respectively; in apparent cases of conflict between provisions, however, the most restrictive shall prevail.
(2) All developed properties existing on the date of adoption of this ordinance shall comply with the landscaping provisions of this chapter within six frost free months of written notification by the City, except those qualifying as nonconforming as defined in subsections (2)(a) and (2)(b) of this subsection:
(a) Residential. Residential front yards existing as of the effective date of this chapter and which do not meet the 50 percent live vegetation requirement for front yards shall be considered legal nonconforming yards; provided, however, that such yards must have landscaping predominantly composed of decorative rock which clearly demonstrates the owner’s intent to beautify the front yard, as opposed to simply covering the soil with a nongrowing medium to control dust. Front yards with decorative rock that are silted over or contain patches of exposed soil, or yards totally devoid of live vegetation or decorative rock, shall not qualify as legal nonconforming yards. All properties meeting the 50 percent live vegetation requirements for front yards not having a water conserving or drip irrigation system shall be considered legal nonconforming yards.
(b) Commercial/ Industrial. All commercial and industrial developments existing on the effective date of adoption of the ordinance codified in this chapter and which do not meet the landscape and screening requirements contained herein shall be considered legal nonconforming developments. Upon remodel, alteration, reconstruction or expansion of an existing building, when such change exceeds 33 percent of the assessed value of said building, the nonconforming status shall terminate and the requirements of this chapter shall apply; provided, however, that in cases where strict application of this chapter would diminish existing parking, impede safe access to the property, eliminate fire lanes or substantially infringe upon other code requirements, the Community and Economic Development Director may grant relief from full compliance with this chapter. Documentation of the relief granted and the reasons therefor shall be filed with the permit records.