What is a nature strip or verge area?
A nature strip or verge is the strip of land between the footpath or walkway and the kerb.
Who owns it?
Nature strips are classified as public land as the Local Government Act provides that a road extends from property boundary to property boundary and includes the carriageway, footpaths and nature strips.
What is it?
The main purpose of the nature strip (verge area) is to provide for the provision of services and utilities and safe pedestrian access.
Where conditions are appropriate, the City of Marion encourages residents to take care of and beautify their verge area. To assist, Council provides the following services.
Weed control service
Council operates a city wide weed control service for verge areas. Spraying is undertaken three to four times a year. A No Spray Register is maintained for residents who choose not to have the verge sprayed and are willing to maintain the area themselves.
Council will treat any verges where declared pest plants have been identified. A common pest plant found on verges is Caltrop (3 Cornered Jack) which will be treated on both a programmed and reactive basis and will be undertaken regardless of a specification on the No Spray Register.
If the area is not maintained by the resident, Council reserves the right to remove all vegetation and maintain the area as part of the weed control program.
Street trees planted by Council will be pruned to ensure they don't impede street lights and signs and as required by its maintenance standards according to Street Tree Audit data.
The following verge treatments ARE permitted:
- Mulch Organic mulches that do not contain sharp or otherwise dangerous materials and are permeable to water may be used on the verge in areas not reserved for pedestrian access with maintenance be borne by the resident.
- Rubble/Gravel Rubble or gravel can be utilised provided it is smooth, compact and stable and not in the areas reserved for pedestrian access.
- Low plants (Maximum height 900mm) The streetscape is an important part of community open space. Council supports planting of shrubs that are drought tolerant. They must be able to be maintained under a 900mm height. Plantings cannot form a hedge and must be spaced to allow locations for egress from legally parked vehicles. Plantings must not be of species proclaimed under regulation by the Minister (proclaimed plants).
- Compacted surface Residents may be authorised subject to Council's satisfaction and conditions to have the verge area in front of their property treated with compacted blue dolomite or other compacted material. The resident will be responsible for all ongoing repairs and maintenance. The surface must be excavated to a minimum depth of 50mm.
- Lawn Property owners may establish lawn on their verge provided it is level with the kerb and footpath and that all ongoing maintenance is undertaken by the owner.
The following verge treatments are NOT permitted:
- Artificial Turf Council does not approve the laying of artificial turf.
- Solid construction Materials such as scoria, moss rocks, structured walls or edging or the use of retaining sleepers may not be placed within the road verge area. Any item considered unsafe or inconvenient to the passage of pedestrians such as brick letter boxes or driveways with a different level to the footpath are also prohibited.
- Plants with spines or thorns Plants with spines, thorns, sharp cutting edges or that pose a danger to residents and pedestrians are not permitted on the verge area.
- Concrete and pavers No concrete or pavers are acceptable except for driveway crossovers (for which approval is required) and footpaths installed by Council.
- Water impermeable membranes Water impermeable membranes such as black plastic may not be used on verges. Permeable solutions such as weed mat may be used under the soil or mulch.
- Chemical sterilization treatments No chemical sterilization treatments or residual chemicals can be applied by residents onto verge areas.
What can Council supply for verges ?
To assist residents to beautify their verge area Council can supply the following:
- Mulch Mulch will be supplied on a once-off basis provided the resident has excavated the area to a minimum depth of 50mm below the kerb line.
- Dolomite Residents may be authorised to have the verge area in front of their property treated with compacted blue dolomite. The resident will be responsible for all ongoing repairs and maintenance. The resident must excavate the surface to a minimum depth of 50mm.
- Plants Council will supply on a once-off basis a limited selection of plants chosen to suit the location. They will be planted in the planting season between May and August. Maintenance of all plants supplied will reside with the resident.
- Loam/Lawn seed Council will supply this on a once-off basis provided the resident has excavated the area to a minimum depth of 50mm below the kerb line.
When any development of a verge is altered or removed by the activity of a service authority, reinstatement will be subject to negotiation between the property owner and that service authority.
Where a Council activity or operation alters or removes a conforming verge development, Council will endeavour to restore the verge to a reasonable standard.