CLEARFIELD -- Safety is expected to improve for drivers as officials adopt changes that specify appropriate landscaping that helps buffer headlight glare.
City Manager Adam Lenhard said the city was recently updating its ordinance for parking areas. He explained that when people are turning into a stall that faces a right of way or a roadway, there could be a headlight glare, especially at night, that causes safety concerns for drivers.
"These changes are a way to facilitate an attractive design and ensure we are shielding the parking lots and avoiding headlight glare," he said. "We wanted to be more specific in what we are asking developers to do.
"It helps eliminate any safety concerns."
The city council recently approved changes to the parking area and parking lot requirements in city code, establishing landscaping requirements around the perimeter of parking areas.
However, the city has had trouble enforcing one of the standards, and staff brought the issue to the council for clarification.
The problem lies in the text that states a headlight screen or berm needs to be at least 3.5 feet high and capable of blocking headlight glare.
Since the standard did not include what elements were needed to meet the intent of the headlight screening, the provision was difficult to follow, according to a staff- prepared background summary. This is particularly occurring when parking spaces face public streets and right of ways.
The planning commission gave staff direction to prepare an amendment to the code back on April 20. Staff has since been working to solve the problem and create an appropriate amendment that includes provisions that have a landscape screening option and a permanent screening option, such as a fence or berm.
Since that time, the commission has given additional feedback in August and final approval at the end of September to the proposed changes. For them to be finalized, though, they had to come to the city council, where approval was recently given.
Changes include adding a paragraph addressing headlight screening. The code now states that providing adequate headlight screening consists of either a landscape hedge screening, berming, screen wall or a combination of any of these. It also states the minimum height for any screening method is 3 feet from the finished grade of the parking lot.
However, the ordinance adds a provision that states if that 3 feet is inadequate to meet the intent of the screening, then the measurement will be taken at a higher finished grade.
Lenhard said the changes are expected to eliminate any safety concerns as well as dictate the different methods to shield glare.