An amendment to the Unified Land Development Code that laid out new regulations for corridor improvements was presented to members of the Rome-Floyd County Planning Commission.
The proposed change deals with landscaping and tree conservation for structures and businesses that face the main arterial roads inside the Rome city limits.
“These are gateways into the communities where commercial development occurs,” Planning Director Sue Hiller said. “Over the last two years, the city staff has met with business leaders and the (Greater Rome) Chamber of Commerce to consider these standards.”
Hiller said the current ULDC states that if a business in an incorporated area undergoes any major construction or reno-
vation, it must ensure there is at least one tree on every 40 feet of a front landscaping strip that faces the corridor.
The proposed standards would change this to at least five trees for every 100 linear feet of a front strip.
“The goal is to flesh out the landscaping of businesses that are seen by the most people,” Hiller told the Commission.
The new standards would be immediately applicable to any business that builds a new structure or expands by 50 percent or more of its existing area.
They would also apply to any business that improves an existing structure or area by more than 50 percent of its tax value.
The proposed article also would make an alternative available for businesses that don’t have enough room on their property to properly plant the number of trees required.
In that instance, the site developer could contribute to the City of Rome Tree Replacement Fund or plant a similar number of trees in another part of the city.
Assistant County Manager Noah Simon requested a change be made to the amendment section requiring solid waste enclosures around Dumpsters and other outdoor trash receptacles.
Simon suggested that it require the enclosure to be at least one foot higher than the tallest receptacle as well as completely concealing them.
Commission member Nathan Roberts also had some questions about the article as written, and he moved to postpone a vote on a recommendation until the March meeting. The motion was seconded by Terry Jones and approved by all attending members.
Once the amendment passes through the planning commission, it goes to the elected Rome City and Floyd County commissions, which have the final say.