Apartment and condominium developers who want to build higher-density projects in the future may have to meet stricter building requirements.

City leaders are proposing a new zoning ordinance that allows developers to add three additional units per acre if they build higher-quality projects with improved landscaping.The "Incentive Density Bonus" is part of a new zoning ordinance the City Council will consider for adoption July 28. It would allow a developer to build as many as 25 units per acre in certain areas of the city if he or she improves the project by using better building materials, adding off-street parking and using a design that is compatible with surrounding homes.

The city currently has areas zoned for multiple-unit projects of 13, 16 and 25 units per acre without making improvements necessary under the proposed change. In other words, developers who were used to building a project with 13 apartments on one acre will now probably have to spend more money on design, materials and landscaping to build the same number.

"This will give us better controls over the quality as well as density of multiple unit and planned unit developments," said Blaine Gehring, planning director.

The new zoning ordinance also makes other changes, including:

- The addition of a new hospital zone around Lakeview and South Davis Community hospitals. The zone would restrict non-medically oriented businesses from opening near the hospitals. Non-medical businesses now in the proposed zone can remain and expand but no new non-medical businesses can open.

- The addition of a new mountain development and watershed protection zone aimed at giving the city more control of one square-mile parcel of land northeast of the foothills. The parcel begins several hundred feet east of Bountiful Boulevard and extends towardMorgan County.

"That area is an important watershed for the city, and we want to have some opportunity to restrict development there," Gehring said. "As it is now, a large subdivision could be built there if it could be serviced."

The new zone does not change or affect subdivisions in the foothills, he said.

- Changes fencing requirements that many owners of corner lots have found too restrictive. Instead of limiting the construction of a fence to 20 feet from a sidewalk, the change allows homeowners to build a fence up to the sidewalk bordering a corner lot.

"I've got 18 or 20 people waiting for that change. It makes no sense to have that 20-foot restriction in there . . . it's like taking 20 feet out of what would normally be someone's back yard," Gehring said.

Residents can speak their minds on the new ordinance at a public hearing Wednesday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m. in City Hall, 790 S. 100 East.