Chapter 17.49


17.49.010    Purpose and objective.

17.49.020    Area of designation.

17.49.030    Applicability.

17.49.040    Definitions.

17.49.050    Land use regulations.

17.49.060    Conflict regulations.

17.49.070    Development standards.

17.49.080    Development recommendations adjacent to the overlay zone.

17.49.090    Wildlife corridor protection.

17.49.010 Purpose and objective.

This chapter establishes the land use regulations and protections for the wildlife corridor overlay zone in Eagle Mountain City, including permitted, minimum land use standards, and other development provisions. This chapter does not change the underlying zoning.

This chapter provides support for and methods by which to preserve wildlife migration routes and habitat in and through Eagle Mountain City. This is a key strategy identified in the Eagle Mountain general plan and parks, trails, and open space master plan. This chapter provides a means to reduce the continuing loss and fragmentation of habitat and migration routes for native and migrating species while simultaneously accommodating development.

Wildlife corridors preserve natural habitat areas or undeveloped lands that can facilitate movement, migration, foraging, breeding, and dispersal of animals, birds, insects, and reptiles. These areas of land permit wildlife such as raptors, deer, pronghorn, and other fauna to move from one area of their range to another. Habitat fragmented by subdivision and development, such as roads and structures, prevents wildlife from accessing their full home range and often leads to human-wildlife conflict. It is important that animals be able to move for food, access thermal and hiding cover, and to preserve genetic diversity of the species. These corridors also help provide contiguous habitat for plants, invertebrates that are essential pollinators, and other wildlife. Preservation of these corridors, along with fencing and safe crossings, will also help to reduce vehicle-animal collisions.

Primarily supporting wildlife in the region, wildlife corridors may also provide for recreation opportunities, open space preservation, potential tourism, and education for students and the general public. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.020 Area of designation.

Wildlife corridors shall include and be characterized by one or more of the following:

A. Wildlife corridors and landscape linkages.

B. Areas with one of the following attributes: significant seasonal ranges for wildlife and/or wildlife migration corridors, and continuous habitat appropriate for wildlife. These may be identified using scientific data by city, county, state, and/or federal agencies.

C. Species that are unique, rare, threatened, endangered, or otherwise deemed to be of significance to Eagle Mountain City. Species shall be those on the federal listed species and sensitive species lists as provided by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, as well as those deemed as such by city, county, state, and/or federal agencies. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.030 Applicability.

A. Partial Coverage. If only a portion of a property is located within the overlay zone, the standards, requirements, and procedure of this chapter shall only apply to the portion of the property that is located inside the overlay zone.

B. Corridor Width. The recommended minimum width for the corridor is 330 feet wide. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Forest Service, and other research studies have determined this minimum width based on the various species and size of animals that utilize migratory corridors. Road crossings and other constrained areas may require a reduced width for short distances.

C. Natural Wash. When applying the overlay zone, any natural wash within the corridor should include a 50-foot area on both sides of the wash within the overlay zone. This additional area is measured from the top of the bank of the natural wash. This adds a buffer to minimize erosion; stabilize the wash banks; prevent pollution; protect sensitive animals, plants, and riparian habitat; and protect property owners from building on highly collapsible soil. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.040 Definitions.

“Conservation nonprofit organization” refers to a private organization operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code with the primary purpose of preserving and protecting land in its natural, scenic, historical, recreational, or open space condition.

“Mule deer migration season” refers to the time of year the mule deer migrate between their winter and summer ranges. The mule deer typically migrate through Eagle Mountain City between March 15th and April 30th and December 1st and January 15th annually.

“Native vegetation” refers to all plant species that occur naturally in a particular habitat and provide essential habitat for native insects and animals. These plants have evolved together over time to form communities that are well-suited to the specific combination of soil, temperature, nutrients, and rainfall of their region. Native species are naturally resilient because they adapt to local conditions.

“Nesting season” refers to the period of the year in which birds are building nests and raising young, generally March 15th through July 31st. The phrase includes any nesting period for documented bird species within the overlay zone.

“Sensitive areas” refers to areas that include nesting grounds/boxes, natural wash, recently planted seedlings, and other regions deemed sensitive by Eagle Mountain City, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), or other public agency.

“Wildlife” refers to wild animals and vegetation, especially animals living in a natural, undomesticated state.

“Wildlife crossing structure” refers to a structure such as a culvert, bridge, or underpass containing features that enhance its suitability for use by wildlife to safely cross human-made barriers such as roads or highways. Examples of such features include the presence of vegetation providing cover or habitat near the entrances and/or natural light visible at the opposite entrance. The term does not include cattle guards.

“Wildlife impermeable fencing” refers to a fence or wall, other than a retaining wall, that prevents various species of wildlife from freely passing through with little or no interference. Except for gates and associated gate support components, a fence or wall that includes the following design features is considered wildlife impermeable fencing:

1. Any fence or wall that is higher than eight feet above grade, inclusive of any wire strands placed above a top rail of a fence or wall.

“Wildlife permeable fencing” refers to a wildlife-friendly fence visible to ungulates and birds, allows wildlife to jump over or crawl under, and provides wildlife access to essential habitats and travel corridors. Wildlife permeable fencing has the following characteristics:

1. Uses a rail, high-visibility wire, flagging, or other visual markers for the top.

2. Smooth wire or rounded rail for the top and bottom.

3. Height of top rail or wire should be 42 inches or less from grade.

4. At least 12 inches or more between the top two wires.

5. At least 16 inches between the bottom wire or rail and grade.

6. Posts at a minimum of 16-foot intervals.

7. Gates, dropdowns, removable fence sections, or other passages where animals congregate and cross. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.050 Land use regulations.

The land use regulations shall be those of the underlying zoning with which the wildlife corridor overlay zone is combined, unless modified by the overlay zone. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.060 Conflict regulations.

Where any provision of federal, state, county, or city statutes, codes, or laws conflicts with any provision of this chapter, the most restrictive shall govern unless enforcement will result in a violation of the federal, state, county or city statutes, codes, or laws. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.070 Development standards.

The following standards are designed to ensure that resources comprising the wildlife corridor area are impacted to the least possible extent. The standards ensure that the landscape will remain connected and that resources can function in a natural state.

The following standards are applicable to all development activities that occur within the wildlife corridor overlay zone:

A. Open Space Credit/Density Transfer.

1. Developer may be awarded amenity points toward the requirements of EMMC 16.35.105 for public trails, observation structures, and other passive recreation improvements built within the overlay zone as approved by the city.

2. Developer may be granted credit for improved open space area for significant buildable property made unbuildable by this overlay zone as approved on a case-by-case basis by the city council.

3. The city may utilize other tools to aid in the application of the overlay zone on property, as approved on a case-by-case basis by the city council.

B. Fragmentation. Development shall be planned to maintain ecological connections and protect critical resources. Gaps within the corridor created by development, other than roadways, are not permitted. This includes, but is not limited to, non-utility structures, buildings, and wildlife impermeable fencing.

C. Construction Period. Permitted construction within the overlay zone shall only occur outside the mule deer migration season and nesting season. Construction may only be permitted during the mule deer migration season and nesting season when certification from DWR is provided stating that the construction area will not impede migration or nesting during the proposed construction period.

D. Vegetation. Native vegetation shall be retained and protected wherever possible. The DWR, city, volunteer groups, developers, and other organizations should work together to replant native vegetation where it has been previously removed or destroyed. Native, drought-tolerant vegetation is permitted.

1. Property used for farming or grazing is exempt from this requirement unless the landowner grants the city or other organization permission to restore the land to its native habitat.

2. Development adjacent to the overlay zone is encouraged to integrate native vegetation into their landscape plan.

E. Underground Utility Construction. The construction of underground utility lines involving installation, maintenance or repair shall be subject to the following criteria:

1. Trenches of no more than half the width of the corridor at the construction area are to be opened at one time.

2. During periods when active construction is not occurring, trenches shall be:

a. Covered to prevent wildlife access;

b. Surrounded by temporary fencing; or

c. Include escape ramps.

3. Where consistent with safety and space consideration, excavated material is to be placed on the uphill side of trenches.

4. Trench dewatering devices shall discharge in a manner which will not adversely affect flowing streams, drainage systems, or off-site property.

5. Disturbed areas are to be replanted with native vegetation to resemble their native state prior to construction.

F. Fencing and Walls. The following fencing and walls are permitted within and adjacent to the overlay zone:

1. Overlay zone perimeter only – wildlife impermeable fencing to discourage or hinder wildlife from exiting the corridor into developed, urban areas of the city. Wildlife impermeable fencing is not permitted within the overlay zone.

2. Wildlife permeable fencing for agricultural purposes that permit wildlife movement through the corridor.

3. All other fences or walls are prohibited unless otherwise approved by the city council.

G. Trails. Natural trails are permitted within the overlay zone to provide public use, access, and education, but must mitigate as best as possible any negative impact on or restrictions of the needs of wildlife. These trails may include the trail itself, trailheads, trailhead parking, restrooms, and pavilions so long as these features do not cut off the migration route within the corridor nor deter wildlife from utilizing the area of breeding or feeding.

H. Wildlife Crossing Structures. To aid in wildlife access and movement through the corridor, wildlife crossing structures are permitted and encouraged over and under roads and highways. Public use of these structures may be permitted and may include trails or paths for the public if it does not negatively impact the wildlife from using the crossing.

1. Feasibility. In situations where a wildlife crossing structure over or under a road is not possible, an alternative at-grade wildlife crossing is required.

2. At-Grade Crossings. The preferred at-grade wildlife crossing is a combination of impermeable wildlife fencing on both sides of the opening and an advance animal detecting system located in the wildlife crossing, alerting drivers of possible animals crossing. At a minimum, wildlife fencing or an advance animal detecting system shall be installed. When installing an at-grade crossing, the following design criteria should be included:

a. Avoid creating pooled water in the right-of-way;

b. Incorporate unpalatable plant species or no vegetation;

c. Avoid crossing rip-rap;

d. Provide a pull-out location for maintenance;

e. Locate the crossing on flat terrain;

f. Ensure long lengths of wildlife impermeable fencing includes escape opportunities from the right-of-way; and

g. Install wildlife warning signs. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.080 Development recommendations adjacent to the overlay zone.

Land adjacent to the overlay district is encouraged to be developed with the following considerations:

A. Consultation. Property owners and developers of land adjacent to the overlay zone are encouraged to consult with the local wildlife habitat biologist at the DWR or other qualified wildlife biologist for guidance on appropriate development adjacent to the corridor.

B. Light Pollution. In addition to compliance with Chapter 17.56 EMMC, Outdoor Lighting Standards, property adjacent to the overlay zone is encouraged to consider the following:

1. Color and Brightness. Outdoor lighting should use lighting that does not affect wildlife or attract insects by limiting the color temperature and brightness:

a. Color temperature should not exceed 3,000 Kelvin.

b. Light output of individual fixtures should not exceed 850 lumens.

2. Outdoor Recreation Lighting. Lighting for outdoor recreational facilities directly adjacent to the overlay zone is recommended to be mounted no higher than 15 feet above the ground.

3. Exceptions. The following items are exempt from these recommendations:

a. Temporary lighting for construction. Permissible during construction hours but shall be turned off otherwise.

b. Temporary emergency lighting.

c. Wireless communication facilities. Lighting should not exceed the minimum requirements established by the Federal Aviation Administration. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].

17.49.090 Wildlife corridor protection.

A. Conservation and Stewardship. Land within the overlay district may be protected using any of the three methods listed here.

1. Dedication for Public Use. The land may be dedicated to the city or to another public agency. This is the preferred method.

2. Private Land Conservation. Any private land, whole or a portion of, may apply a conservation easement on that land. The easement may be held by the city, another public agency, or a qualified conservation nonprofit organization.

3. Homeowners’ Association. Every preliminary plan that includes natural or improved open space that will be owned and maintained by the lot owners shall be accompanied by a conservation easement and proposed articles of incorporation and covenants for a homeowners’ association in which all lot owners shall be members, and which is responsible for the maintenance and preservation of natural and improved open space required by this chapter. These documents shall be recorded with the final plat, upon their approval.

B. Sensitive Areas. Sensitive areas within the overlay zone shall be protected from human activity by minimizing access into or through the sensitive areas.

C. Recreational Vehicles. No recreational vehicles, such as off-highway vehicles (OHVs), shall be allowed in the corridor during the mule deer migration season, except for corridor maintenance and private landowner use. No new off-road vehicle trails will be constructed where the corridor is at its minimum width to minimize recreational vehicles’ negative impacts. Recreational vehicles are permitted to cross the corridor on established trails year-round. [Ord. O-06-2021 § 2 (Exh. A)].