Hi All, Wick here.
Today’s topic is planting strips. I’ve heard a lot of controversy lately over what is allowed and not allowed for this area of land located between the sidewalk and the curb. The city’s overall viewpoint is safety and access. Safety in the ability to view traffic and access for car doors to open near the curb. As you probably already know, the city owns this portion of your front yard but you as the homeowner are required to maintain it. Let’s “dig in” a little into planting strips:)
1) The good news is: You are allowed to have planter boxes in the planting strip! But only certain dimensions:
they have to be 2 feet from curb
- 1 foot from sidewalk
- No longer than 10 feet
- At least 4 feet apart
- No more than 18 inches tall (This means I could never have a planter box in front of my house because my planting strip is too narrow).
2) You need a permit to build a planter box. They cost about $360. Most people forego the permits and just build them but be warned. Planter boxes are complaint driven. So be sure to chat with your neighbors first before building one.
3) Tree Limbs hanging over the sidewalk can’t be lower than 7’1/2″ high. And limbs hanging over the street have to be at least 11′ high.
4) Here’s an interesting one. If you decide to put concrete or pavers or gravel into your planting strip you are heretofore required to comply with the trip hazard rule. Sidewalks have to have less than 1/2″ trip hazard. So the same rule applies between the sidewalk and the new surface you installed in the planting strip.
I hope this covers a lot of your planting strip questions! Please reach out to me if you have more. And as always if your friends or family need a hand buying or selling a home we would love to help them!