If the zoning on your property contains the zoning designation “SS,” the property is within a Streamside Overlay zone district. The Streamside Overlay was originally established in 2002 and was revised in 2007; Section 7.3.508 of the City Code contains the description and requirements of the Streamside Overlay zone. In 2009, the Streamside Design Guidelines were revised to expand and clarify Section 7.3.508 of the City Code with respect to the goals and purposes of developing on streamside properties.
The purpose of the Streamside Overlay is to guide development and maintenance of property adjacent to stream corridors in a manner that is compatible with the environmental conditions, constraints, and character of the area.
When streamside features are not protected, damage can be done to the significant natural features and the banks of the streams. Repair of the damage to the streams is costly and time intensive.
Review Criteria and Development Standards
The Code defines eleven review criteria for properties adjacent to the stream. If a project is submitted on a Streamside Overlay zoned property, the applicant must show how all eleven review criteria are met. The review criteria look at site design, significant natural features, grading, wildlife habitat, trails, impervious surfaces, and stream bank stabilization and/or reclamation. Interaction with the stream is encouraged by the type of use, providing occupants and visitors a chance to interact with the stream (for example, incorporating seating and tables near the stream), and providing trail networks adjacent to the stream.
Site Plans and Development Plans
There are two types of applications that could be required for a Streamside Overlay property, a Streamside Site Plan (SSP) or a Streamside Development Plan (SDP). Streamside properties cannot be modified in any way, including site grading, until either a SSP or a SDP has been approved.
If the project has a small scope and lacks complexity, a SSP can be utilized to facilitate the review of a streamside development on a small parcel. Typical SSP applications include single lot, residential developments. The SSP will be reviewed at the time of building permit application.
A SDP is required when land is developed or redeveloped within City limits and within the Streamside Overlay. If the project does not fall into the SSP category, a SDP is required. SDPs require that Streamside review criteria and development plan criteria be met and the plans be approved prior to building permit. Be sure to always include the Streamside Checklist when submitting Streamside projects.
Developing within the Streamside Overlay zone district requires an environmental sensitivity above and beyond that applied to general property within the City limits. Development within the Streamside Overlay must be compatible with the riparian nature and characteristics, must be interactive with the stream, and must be sensitive to wildlife and grading and runoff issues.