Nature strips are the piece of land situated between the edge of a road and the property boundary.
Nature Strips form part of the road reserve and are under our management. They provide:
- an area for pedestrians to step off the road and may include footpaths
- a space for authorities to house their pipes such as electricity, gas, water, phones, etc
- may contain trees for shade and beautification of your street
Alternative nature strips
We are aware that many residents like the concept of a low maintenance nature strip outside their property and wish to contribute to the beautification of the streetscape within the municipality.
Our nature strip guidelines contain options for alternatives to grass nature strips. Separate guidelines exist for roads with footpaths and those without.
Many common garden plants are really environmental weeds. Where these plants are listed on the Statement Government declared weeds lists, we will not permit their use in the nature strip.
Plants on this list include:
- St John's Wort
- Fountain grass and
- English ivy.
Full lists are available from the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.
Existing plants designated as weeds will be managed on a case by case basis in accordance with Department of Primary Industries advice.
Service authority works
From time to time service authorities need to dig up the nature strip to work on their infrastructure.
When this occurs, they are required to replace damaged footpaths and driveways and re-level the nature strip with loam and grass seed.
Residents with alternative nature strips will be required to reinstate the surface for themselves.
We plant trees in nature strips. Land developers plant trees in new subdivisions.
Land developers maintain the trees they plant for a period of 12 months. All other trees are maintained by us.
You can request a tree planting on you nature strip.
To discuss planting away from their residence, you need to speak with our Arboricultural Technical Office on 03 5272 5272.
Any feature added to a naturestrip such as plants, rock, edging and pit lids that are deemed by us to be a risk to the public as a tripping hazard, a falling hazard, a vehicle crash hazard or other hazard will be required to be removed or made safe as per our direction.
Property owners who fail to follow a request to remove nature strip obstructions may be issued with a Notice to Comply and subsequent penalty notice under Local Law 88 – Obstructions on Roads or Council Land.
In addition, property owners may be held liable for injury caused as a result of any unauthorised landscaping works undertaken by them, or on their behalf.
Nature strip encroachments
When undertaking landscaping of the front yard, residents need to be aware of where the property boundary is located.
Residents extending their garden beds beyond the property boundary cause issues for the establishment of footpaths and can create a hazard for road users.
Encroachments are subject to the provisions of Local Law 88 listed above
Vehicles illegal parking on nature strips
To protect pedestrians, drivers, street trees (including the root zone) and gas, water, telecommunications and other service authority assets, the Victorian Road Rules prohibit:
'197, Stopping on a path, dividing strip or nature strip
(1) A driver must not stop on a bicycle path, footpath, shared path or dividing strip, or a nature strip adjacent to a length of road in a built-up area.'
Breaches of this regulation are subject to an on the spot penalty notice.
It is recommended that neighbours work with each other to try and resolve nature strip concerns before lodging requests for investigation by us. This helps to improve community and awareness amongst neighbours.
Nature strip maintenance
Our maintenance program covers:
- mowing - we will mow a nature strip once a year as a fire prevention method or to improve vehicle visibility on our roads
- tripping Hazards/Damage - we will investigate and take appropriate action when these hazard issues are reported
- tree planting/trimming/removal - we plant, maintain and remove trees on nature strips
We do not:
- provide loam or grass seed for nature strips
- permit planting out of nature strips
- repair damage to nature strips caused by private contractors or utility companies
- we do not provide the authority for residents to plant their own trees in nature strips. You can request tree planting in your nature strip.
You can obtain a copy of our Nature Strip brochure from any of our Customer Service Centres.
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