OPEN SPACE STANDARDS.
A. Planned neighborhood developments shall reserve a minimum of 25 percent of the acreage of the parcel as dedicated natural open space.
B. Up to 25 percent of this requirement may be satisfied with land covered by water or by stormwater detention or retention basins (dry ponds shall not be permitted as open space), if the Town Council determines that such a water body or basin is suitable for the purposes set forth in Section 175-37.1. The dedicated open space shall not be included in subdivision lots. Dedicated open space shall include the land necessary to provide access to the open space.
C. Land characterized as conservation lands in Section 175-37.4.E. of this ordinance may be used to fulfill the minimum open space requirement up to a maximum of 50 percent of the total dedicated natural open space within a planned neighborhood development.
D. Dedicated open space shall have shape, dimension, character, location, and topography to accomplish the open space purposes specified in Section 175-37.1 and to ensure appropriate public access.
E. Dedicated open space land shall be shown on the planned neighborhood development Concept Plan and Master Land Use Plan and shall be labeled to specify that the land has been dedicated to open space purposes. The plans and final plat shall specify that the open space land shall not be further subdivided or developed and is permanently reserved for natural open space purposes.
F. The open space shall be conveyed by the applicant as a condition of plat approval and may be conveyed by any of the following means as determined by the Town Council:
1. Deeded in perpetuity to the Town of Front Royal or other governmental agency for the purposes herein.
2. Reserved for common use or ownership of all property owners within the development by covenants in the deeds approved by the Town Attorney. A copy of the proposed deed covenants shall be submitted with the application.
3. Deeded in perpetuity to a private, non-profit, tax-exempt organization legally constituted for conservation purposes under terms and conditions that ensure the perpetual protection and management of the property for conservation purposes. A copy of the proposed deeds and relevant corporate documents of the land trust shall be submitted with the application.
4. Deeded to a property owner's association within the development upon terms and conditions approved by the Town Attorney that will ensure the continued use and management of the land for the intended purposes. The formation and incorporation by the applicant of one or more appropriate property owners' associations shall be required prior to plat approval. A copy of the proposed property owner's deed and the by-laws and other relevant documents of the property owner's association shall be submitted with the application. The following shall be required if open space is to be dedicated to a property owner's association:
a. Covenants providing for mandatory membership in the association and setting forth the owner's rights, interests, and privileges in the association and the common land, must be included in the deed for each lot or unit;
b. The property owners' association shall have the responsibility of maintaining the open space and operating and maintaining recreational facilities;
c. The association shall have the authority to levy charges against all property owners to defray the expenses connected with the maintenance of open space and recreational facilities; and
d. The applicant shall maintain control of dedicated open space and be responsible for its maintenance until 75% of occupancy permits for residential units have been issued and development is sufficient to support the association.
G. The owner/developer shall convey or restrict the open space land by a deed instrument reviewed and approved by the Front Royal Town Attorney to ensure that the land will be held and managed in perpetuity for open space purposes and shall not be further developed.
H. If the planned neighborhood development is developed in phases, the provision of dedicated natural open space shall be phased with the construction of dwelling units and other improvements to ensure that a proportionate share of the total dedicated open space is preserved with each phase.
I. Streets and other impervious surfaces shall be excluded from the calculation of the minimum dedicated open space requirement; however, lands occupied by bike paths, landscaped grounds, or similar common recreational development (excluding tennis courts, golf courses, and buildings) may be counted as dedicated open space, provided that impervious surfaces constitute no more than 5 percent of the total required open space.
space shall be permanently dedicated for one
of more of the following uses: natural resource conservation,
facilities, wetland and water course preservation, selective forestry,
habitat, undeveloped parklands or scenic preservation.
(Ord. No. Z-1-05 Added Entire Section 4-11-05-Effective Upon Passage)