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DAB 205 - Hillside Property Maintenance

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Properties within the Hillside Overlay Zone are subject to specific regulations regarding any physical modification. Mostly, these regulations do not apply to routine maintenance. To learn more about how the Hillside Overlay Zone affects building and developing, consult DAB 203.

Maintenance of Vegetation

One objective of the Hillside Ordinance is to conserve the unique natural features of hillside areas. Thus, it is the property owner’s responsibility to care for the existing vegetation, including trees, shrubs and grasses, on hillside properties.

Oftentimes, it may be necessary to hand-groom accumulated soils over 6 inches from the roots of scrub oak, to trim dead and dying tree branches, and to ensure that a clear perimeter is maintained around any building on a hillside property.

From a fire-protection perspective, the Hillside Ordinance specifies a “Safety Zone” of 30 feet around buildings, not to extend past the property line, to protect from fire. Within this safety zone, maintenance is especially important. Trees should be checked for dead branches and overlapping limbs and these limbs should be pruned.

Removal of Vegetation

The Hillside Overlay prohibits the out-right removal of existing vegetation except in certain situations. For example, a clear-zone of 10 feet surrounding a building is required by the Fire Department. Any vegetation may be removed within this area without approval from City agencies.

Dead and dying vegetation is also allowed to be removed within the “Safety Zone” but may later need to be replaced. Removal of any other vegetation may require approval from the Development Review Enterprise (DRE). Contact the DRE at (719) 385-5982 or visit its offices at 2880 International Circle.

Erosion Control

Hillside properties often have soils that are easily eroded and therefore, it is imperative that water run-off is minimized. Many hillside properties are subject to specified erosion control facilities. These facilities must be maintained by the owner. For more information on possible erosion control measures, contact the DRE.

Grading

Any changes to the slopes or contours of the lot such as grading or retaining wall installation is required to be approved by the DRE before any work is started.

Additional Information:

Hillside Development Manual

Firewise.org