The Village of Taos Ski Valley finds that it is in the public interest for all developments to provide terrain management landscape improvements in order to compliment the natural landscape, retain the sense of a mountain environment, improve the general appearance of the community, enhance the aesthetic appeal of the Village and improve the quality of life for residents and guests. All development needs to emphasize the natural existing conditions with terrain management and landscaping design compatible with the existing lot and which also mitigates runoff by providing erosion protection and providing re-vegetation as well as protecting and enhancing the natural vegetation during construction.

Landscape and Terrain Management Standards.

  1. Cuts and fills are to be minimized and shall not exceed 2:1 slope
  2. For the preservation of existing vegetation, building setbacks are to be excluded from grading and excavation.
  3. Designate areas to be re-vegetated and should contain a mixture of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs and comply with the Wildland Urban Interface Code.
  4. Appropriate high alpine trees, shrubs, and native grasses should be utilized which will provide a xeriscape environment to reduce water consumption.
  5. Landscaping should be clustered in areas suitable for screening to provide a natural appearance that blends with the existing environment
  6. Provide screening of undesirable building elements with buffers utilizing berms, plants, and native rocks and boulders.
  7. Designate vegetation preservation devices and methods and details to be used during construction.
  8. Show topsoil storage area and provide protection from erosion.
  9. At least 75% of the area to be landscaped shall have a ground cover of living plant material including but not limited to grass, wild flowers, and other recognized ground covering plant materials.
  10. The remaining ground cover may be comprised of rocks, stones or other approved materials.
  11. Imported mulch, topsoil, or plant material shall be free of noxious weeds and each landowner shall be responsible for maintaining a weed free lot.
  12. Retaining wall systems with integrated landscape areas are encouraged to be provided to retain slopes and make up changes in grade rather than cut/fill areas for slope retention.
  13. Public Snow storage areas are required adjacent to public rights of way or dedicated where appropriate location and shall be landscaped with ground cover and shrubs that can survive when the area is used for snow storage. 
  14. Snow storage areas and snow shedding areas may not overlap sensitive landscape or riparian areas  such as those which include non-flexible deciduous trees or formal planting beds.
  15. Utilitarian structures such as fuel tanks, water tanks, towers, or similar storage facilities shall be installed underground when necessary.  Those not installed underground shall be painted with earth tones found in the adjacent area or shall be entirely screened with appropriate landscaping that blends with the surrounding natural environment.