Residential nature strips
Residential nature strips are public land, owned and controlled by Council and part of the road reserve. Residents also play a role in maintenance, including mowing and weeding.
The policy and guidelines aim to provide clear direction for property owners and residents about permitted uses, including approved surface treatments, plant heights, growing of edible plants, installations and maintenance responsibilities.
The policy is based on five principles. That nature strips:
- Provide a public space which contributes to sense of place and community.
- Should be safe and accessible spaces.
- Contribute to healthy environment for people, plants and animals.
- Can play an active role in supporting Council’s Climate Change response.
- Play a role for location of essential services.
Under the policy:
- Hard, impervious surfaces such as gravel, pavers or artifical grass are no longer permitted as they lead to more stormwater run-off and lead to materials being washed into downstream water bodies like wetlands, rivers and the ocean.
- Well-kept grass and modest plantings are preferred due to their environmental benefits, their ability to reduce radiated heat and to soften streetscapes. Additional plantings are not permitted in areas within the Bushfire Management Overlay.
- Mulch is permitted (except in areas within the Bushfire Management Overlay) but should not take up the entire nature strip.
- Residents are required to maintain nature strip grass and any plants, excluding street trees which are solely Council's responsibility.
- Residents wishing to undertake works varying from the guidelines will need to seek a permit so Council officers can individually assess the proposed works against the guidelines and broader Council objectives.
- Property owners or occupiers are required to maintain nature strip grass and any plants excluding street trees, which are solely Council’s responsibility.
The policy and guidleines, which came into effect on 25 July 2023:
- Will not be applied retrospectively, however we may direct a resident to remove any structure or planting that is a safety risk.
- Differ between areas that are inside and outside of the Bushfire Management Overlay.
If any property owners or contractors are considering undertaking any works on a nature strip, they should read the Residential Nature Strip Policy and Guidelines to determine if what they are proposing to do on the nature strip is permitted.
People seeking more information can call Council on 5261 0600 or lodge a request via www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/request.
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