15 January, 2008

Parkway Planting

Before planning anything for the parkway, I thought I'd better check to see what the restrictions are. The City has an extensive Web site, but it isn't always easy to navigate and find just what you need. Nobody seemed to know who I should talk to. After a couple of days of poking around, I finally found someone who could help. I'm posting the info in case anyone else has had difficulty getting an answer:

The City has two requirements when installing landscaping on a parkway. First, you must submit a planting plan that indicates the location and species of all proposed plant material to my attention. I will review the plan and either ask for changes to be made, or issue a parkway planting permit. We do not charge for this permit, and it can usually be issued within a few days of your plan submittal. In general, no plants that mature at a height greater than three feet are allowed on parkways, as they may obstruct traffic site lines.

The second requirement is that the grading of the parkway cannot change substantially underneath any existing trees. What this means is that you cannot add significant amounts of soil or build a raised planter at the base of, or under, existing trees. The addition of soil, especially at the base of the trunk, can cause serious damage to the tree’s root system and can pose a threat to the overall health of the tree.

Please let me know if you have further questions, and good luck with your efforts to beautify your parkway.

Paul D'Agostino
Parks/Forestry Division 
I know I'm probably being overly cautious. It's not like I want to build massive retaining walls in the parkway. I just want to plant some flowers and a few bushes. But have you seen how expensive landscape plants are? Yikes! The last thing I want is for some city official to request we remove them.

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