Is your Neighbor’s Yard Growing into the Right-of-Way?

 

Overgrowth needs to be trimmed back; see photo below.

 

SDOT oversees the public right-of-way, so we frequently get complaints about overgrown vegetation impinging on  sidewalks.  However, SDOT doesn’t respond to those calls because  that neighbor’s unruly bushes fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Planning and Design (DPD).  This past year the DPD put out a Client Assistance Memo about vegetation overgrowth complaints to inform property owners of their responsibilities to keep the sidewalk abutting their property safe  for pedestrians.  Unfortunately, as a result of DPD staff reductions due to budget cuts, the department can only inspect those complaints of vegetation overgrowth that create a hazardous situation – such as blocking visibility or forcing pedestrians off the sidewalk into the street.

However, if your neighbor’s bushes are bothering you, but are not a true hazard, the department will send code information to the “offending” property owner.

Sidewalks must be clear from concrete edge to concrete edge, and vegetation hanging over the sidewalk must be trimmed up to 8 feet above the sidewalk.

More information on regulation of vegetation overgrowth is available in a Client Assistance Memo#611 – Weed and Vegetation Enforcement: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codesrules/codes/weedvegetation/default.htm

You can also download the Weeds & Vegetation Safety Bulletin containing information about these regulations, that may be posted on a community bulletin board or given to your neighbor.