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City of Frontenac, MO
St. Louis County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
This Article shall be known as the "Frontenac Stream Buffer Protection Ordinance".
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
A. 
The City of Frontenac finds that buffers adjacent to stream systems provide numerous environmental protection and resource management benefits which can include the following:
1. 
Protecting, restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of streams and their water resources;
2. 
Removing pollutants delivered in urban stormwater;
3. 
Reducing erosion and controlling sedimentation;
4. 
Protecting and stabilizing stream banks;
5. 
Providing for infiltration of stormwater runoff;
6. 
Maintaining base flow of streams;
7. 
Contributing the organic matter that is a source of food and energy for the aquatic ecosystem;
8. 
Providing tree canopy to shade streams and promote desirable aquatic habitat;
9. 
Providing riparian wildlife habitat;
10. 
Furnishing scenic value and recreational opportunity; and
11. 
Providing opportunities for the protection and restoration of green space.
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
The purpose of this Article is to establish minimal acceptable requirements for the design of buffers to protect the streams, wetlands and flood plains of the City of Frontenac; to protect the water quality of watercourses, reservoirs, lakes, and other significant water resources within the City of Frontenac; to protect Frontenac's riparian and aquatic ecosystems; and to provide for the environmentally sound use of Frontenac's land resources.
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
A. 
This Article shall apply to all land development activity on property containing a stream protection area as defined in Article I of this Chapter. These requirements are in addition to, and do not replace or supersede, any other applicable buffer or flood plain requirements established under State or local law and approval or exemption from these requirements do not constitute approval or exemption from buffer requirements established under State law or from other applicable local, State or Federal regulations.
B. 
Legal Non-Conforming Provisions. The following shall not apply to this Article:
1. 
Work consisting of the repair or maintenance of any lawful use of land that is zoned and approved for such use on or before the effective date of this Article.
2. 
Existing development and ongoing land disturbance activities including, but not limited to, existing agriculture, silviculture, landscaping, gardening and lawn maintenance, except that new development or land disturbance activities on such properties will be subject to all applicable buffer requirements.
3. 
Any land development activity that is under construction, fully approved for development, scheduled for permit approval or has been submitted for approval as of the effective date of this Article.
4. 
Land development activity that has not been submitted for approval, but that is part of a larger master development plan, such as for an office park or other phased development that has been previously approved within two (2) years of the effective date of this Article.
C. 
Exemptions. The following specific activities are exempt from this Article. Exemption of these activities does not constitute an exemption for any other activity proposed on a property.
1. 
Activities for the purpose of building one (1) of the following:
a. 
A stream crossing by a driveway (bridge), transportation route or utility line;
b. 
Public water supply intake or public wastewater structures or stormwater outfalls;
c. 
Intrusions necessary to provide access to a property;
d. 
Public access facilities that must be on the water including boat ramps, docks, foot trails leading directly to the river, fishing platforms and overlooks;
e. 
Foot trails and paths, pervious or impervious, approved only by the Public Works Director; and
f. 
Activities to restore and enhance stream bank stability, vegetation, water quality and/or aquatic habitat, so long as native vegetation and bioengineering techniques are used and said work is approved by the Public Works Director.
2. 
Public line easements. This includes such impervious cover as is necessary for the operation and maintenance of the utility, including, but not limited to, manholes, vents and valve structures. This exemption shall not be construed as allowing the construction of roads, bike paths or other transportation routes in such easements, regardless of paving material, except for access for the uses specifically cited in item (1) above.
3. 
Land development activities within a right-of-way existing at the time this Article takes effect or approved under the terms of this Article.
4. 
Within an easement of any utility existing at the time this Article takes effect or approved under the terms of this Article, land disturbance activities and such impervious cover as is necessary for the operation and maintenance of the utility, including, but not limited to, manholes, vents and valve structures.
5. 
Emergency work necessary to preserve life or property. However, when emergency work is performed under this Section, the person performing it shall report such work to the City on the next business day after commencement of the work. Within ten (10) days thereafter, the person shall apply for a permit and perform such work within such time period as may be determined by the review and permitting authority to be reasonably necessary to correct any impairment such emergency work may have caused to the water conveyance capacity, stability or water quality of the protection area.
6. 
Forestry and silviculture activities on land that is zoned for forestry, silvicultural or agricultural uses and are not incidental to other land development activity. If such activity results in land disturbance in the buffer that would otherwise be prohibited, then no other land disturbing activity other than normal forest management practices will be allowed on the entire property for three (3) years after the end of the activities that intruded on the buffer.
7. 
Any activities approved under a 404 permit issued by the Corps of Engineers and 401 water quality certification issued by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
D. 
After the effective date of this Article, the requirements herein shall apply to new subdivisions and platting activities. Any land disturbance activity within a buffer established hereunder or any impervious cover within a setback established hereunder is prohibited unless a variance is granted pursuant to Section 506.480 of this Article.
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
A. 
Buffer And Setback Requirements. All land disturbance activity subject to this Article shall meet the following requirements:
1. 
For streams as defined in this Article, an undisturbed natural vegetative buffer shall be maintained for twenty-five (25) feet, measured horizontally, on both banks (as applicable) of the stream as measured from the top of the stream bank.
2. 
No septic tanks or septic tank drain fields shall be permitted within the buffer.
B. 
Variance Procedures. Variances from the above buffer and setback requirements may be granted in accordance with the following provisions:
1. 
Where a parcel was platted prior to the effective date of this Article, and its shape, topography or other existing physical condition prevents land development consistent with this Article, and the City finds and determines that the requirements of this Article prohibit the otherwise lawful use of the property by the owner, the Board of Adjustment may grant a variance from the buffer and setback requirements hereunder, provided such variance requires mitigation measures to offset the effects of any proposed land development on the parcel.
2. 
Except as provided above, the Board of Adjustment shall grant no variance from any provision of this Article without first conducting a public hearing on the application for variance and authorizing the granting of the variance by an affirmative vote of the Board. The City of Frontenac shall give public notice of each such public hearing in a newspaper of general circulation within the City of Frontenac. The City of Frontenac shall require that the applicant post a sign giving notice of the proposed variance and the public hearing. The sign shall be of a size and posted in such a location on the property as to be clearly visible from the primary adjacent road right-of-way.
C. 
Variances will be considered only in the following cases:
1. 
When a property's shape, topography or other physical conditions existing at the time of the adoption of this Article prevents land development unless a buffer variance is granted.
2. 
Unusual circumstances when strict adherence to the minimal buffer requirements in this Article would create an extreme hardship. Variances will not be considered when, following adoption of this Article, actions of any property owner of a given property have created conditions of a hardship on that property.
3. 
At a minimum, a variance request shall include the following information:
a. 
A site map that includes locations of all streams, wetlands, flood plain boundaries and other natural features, as determined by field survey;
b. 
A description of the shape, size, topography, slope, soils, vegetation and other physical characteristics of the property;
c. 
A detailed site plan that shows the locations of all existing and proposed structures and other impervious cover, the limits of all existing and proposed land disturbance, both inside and outside the buffer and setback. The exact area of the buffer to be affected shall be accurately and clearly indicated;
d. 
Documentation of unusual hardship should the buffer be maintained;
e. 
At least one (1) alternative plan, which does not include a buffer or setback intrusion, or an explanation of why such a site plan is not possible;
f. 
A calculation of the total area and length of the proposed intrusion;
g. 
A stormwater management site plan, if applicable; and
h. 
Proposed mitigation, if any, for the intrusion. If no mitigation is proposed, the request must include an explanation of why none is being proposed.
D. 
The following factors will be considered in determining whether to issue a variance:
1. 
The shape, size, topography, slope, soils, vegetation and other physical characteristics of the property;
2. 
The locations of all streams on the property, including along property boundaries;
3. 
The location and extent of the proposed buffer or setback intrusion;
4. 
Whether alternative designs are possible which require less intrusion or no intrusion;
5. 
The long-term and construction water quality impacts of the proposed variance; and
6. 
Whether issuance of the variance is at least as protective of natural resources and the environment.
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
This Article is not intended to interfere with, abrogate or annul any other ordinance, rule or regulation, Statute or other provision of law. The requirements of this Article should be considered minimum requirements, and where any provision of this Article imposes restrictions different from those imposed by any other ordinance, rule, regulation or other provision of law, whichever provisions are more restrictive or impose higher protective standards for human health or the environment shall be considered to take precedence.
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
A. 
Any permit applications for property requiring buffers hereunder must include the following:
1. 
A site plan showing:
a. 
The location of all streams on the property;
b. 
Limits of required stream buffers on the property;
c. 
Buffer zone topography with contour lines at no greater than five (5) foot intervals;
d. 
Delineation of forested and open areas in the buffer zone; and
e. 
Detailed plans of all proposed land development in the buffer.
2. 
A description of all proposed land development within the buffer, and
3. 
Any other documentation that the City may reasonably deem necessary for review of the application and to insure that the buffer zone ordinance is addressed in the approval process.
B. 
All buffer and setback areas must be recorded on the final plat of the property following plan approval. A note to reference the vegetated buffer shall state: "There shall be no clearing, grading, construction or disturbance of vegetation except as permitted by Stream Buffer Protection Ordinance of the City of Frontenac."
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
Neither the issuance of a development permit nor compliance with the conditions thereof, nor with the provisions of this Article shall relieve any person from any responsibility otherwise imposed by law for damage to persons or property; nor shall the issuance of any permit hereunder serve to impose any liability upon the City of Frontenac, its officers or employees for injury or damage to persons or property.
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
A. 
The City may cause inspections of the work of the buffer to be made periodically during the course thereof and shall make a final inspection following completion of the work. The permittee shall assist the City in making such inspections. The City of Frontenac shall have the authority to conduct such investigations as it may reasonably deem necessary to carry out its duties as prescribed in this Article, and for this purpose to enter at reasonable time upon any property, public or private, for the purpose of investigating and inspecting the sites of any land development activities within the protection area.
B. 
No person shall refuse entry or access to any authorized representative or agent who requests entry for purposes of inspection, and who presents appropriate credentials, nor shall any person obstruct, hamper or interfere with any such representative while in the process of carrying out official duties.
[Ord. No. 2010-1621 §1, 4-20-2010]
A. 
Administrative Appeal. Any person aggrieved by a decision or order of the City may appeal in writing within seven (7) days after the issuance of such decision or order to the Frontenac City Administrator and shall be entitled to a hearing before the Board of Adjustment within thirty (30) days of receipt of the written appeal.
B. 
Judicial Review. Any person aggrieved by a decision or order of Board of Adjustment, after exhausting all administrative remedies, shall have the right to appeal de novo to the Circuit Court of St. Louis County, Missouri.