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Summer was awful, but our gardens don’t seem to be complaining – and certainly not the shrubs and trees that border footpaths.
Council staff have been busy reminding property owners to prune back plants obstructing pedestrians or blocking the view of drivers backing out of driveways.
Divisional manager of regulatory services Geoff Stuart says the wet spring and summer encouraged lots of growth and many homeowners now have trees overhanging footpaths or impeding pedestrians.
He says there are bylaws dealing with foliage that obstructs footpaths and access ways, but enforcement staff like to appeal to people’s reasonableness. “If someone with a pram can get by, then that’s usually a good indicator there’s enough clearance for pedestrians."
The bylaw requires a minimum height clearance of 2.1 metres – sufficient for an adult with an umbrella to pass underneath. Branches must not be allowed to grow out over the road where they can brush against larger vehicles such as buses and trucks. The minimum clearance is such circumstances is 4.5 metres (6 metres on main roads).