Section 12A-236 Design standards for stream buffers.

    (a)    An adequate buffer for a stream system shall consist of a predominantly undisturbed strip of land extending along both sides of a stream and its adjacent wetlands, floodplains or slopes. The buffer width may be adjusted to include contiguous sensitive areas, such as steep slopes or erodible soils, where disturbance may adversely affect water quality, streams, wetlands, or other water bodies.

    (b)    The buffer shall begin and be measured from the ordinary high water mark of the channel during base flows.

    (c)    The required base width for all stream buffers is shown in Table I.


TABLE I.  Required Stream Buffer Width
Waterway Type
Required Width (each side)
Type I
100 feet
Type II
50 feet
Type III
30 feet

    (d)    Stream buffer width shall be increased where there are steep slopes in close proximity to the stream that drain into the stream system as set forth in Table II.


TABLE II.  Modifications to Stream Buffer Width Based on Slope
Percent Slope
Width of Buffer
0 – 14%
No Change
15% - 25%
add 25 feet
Greater than 25%
add 50 feet

    (e)    Buffer averaging.  The stream buffer width may be relaxed and the buffer permitted to become narrower at some points as long as the average width of the buffer meets the minimum requirement.  This averaging of the buffer may be used to allow for the presence of an existing structure or to recover a lost lot, as long as the streamside zone (Zone I) is not narrowed by the averaging.

(Ord. No. 19343, § 1, 1-2-07)


(Ord. 19343, Added, 01/02/2007)