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What is a 'buffer yard?'

Many areas in Orange County, Florida, are zoned for specific or multiple uses, such as retail, commercial and multi-family. According to Orange County Code Section 24-5 on Buffer Yard Requirements, the goal of such is to reduce the negative impacts, both physically and visually, that may be possible with the use of the abutting property. There are six buffer classifications in Orange County and here are details on a few of them.

Type A is used to separate a heavy industrial use property from any any residential property. The buffer is required to be at least 50 feet wide and eight feet tall. It must be a masonry wall.

Type B is used to separate whole and general commercial properties and light and general industrial properties from residential properties. It must be at least 25 feet wide and at least six feet tall. It can be vegetation, either planted or existing, berm, masonry or a combination of any of them. If planting the buffer, it must be 70 percent opaque and four feet high when planted. It must attain the full requirements within three years.

Type D is used to separate all residential property from professional office property. It must be at least 10 feet wide and six feet tall. It may use the same combination of buffer materials as Type B, but it can be 50 percent opaque and three feet high when planted and must attain the requirements within three years.

As you can see, there are many specific requirements required by zoning laws. An attorney experienced in land use and zoning can be a great help when considering a real estate purchase.

Source: orangecountyfl.net, "Orange County Planning and Zoning Quick Reference Guide – Sept. 2013 Page 17 of 18 BUFFER YARD REQUIREMENTS," accessed Feb. 17, 2016

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