The naturestrip is the land between your property boundary and the road kerb. This land is managed by Council but residents and property owners are encouraged to care for their naturestrip area.
In suburban streets, naturestrip planting is restricted to low ground cover plants which grow to a height of no more than 50cm high, and do not restrict pedestrian access or cause any public safety hazards. All species planted should be appropriate to the existing streetscape and should not be prickly, spiky or poisonous.
You cannot change your naturestrip without Council approval.
Changing your naturestrip
If you would like to plant additional street trees/low ground-cover plants on your naturestrip, you will need to apply to Council for approval and provide a plan of the proposed works.
In suburban streets, landscaping is restricted to planting additional street trees and/or low ground-cover plants that must not:
- block vehicle and pedestrian vision
- restrict pedestrian access
- cause any public safety hazards.
Please read our Things to consider prior to submitting your plans and commencing works.
How to apply
All proposed works should be described on a plan and submitted to Council for approval before starting the works.
Your naturestrip plan must clearly show the following features:
- existing street trees (note: Council’s Tree Care Team will advise of any programmed street tree planting prior to approval)
- street furniture
- footpaths and utility services (i.e. electricity, water, sewage, stormwater drainage, gas and telecommunications, both overhead and underground)
- bin or hard waste locations
- the 900mm clearance from kerb and driveway edges to allow for vehicle doors to be opened and pedestrians to step out
- a minimum footpath width of 1.8 metres, measured from the property boundary for either an existing footpath or future path (footpaths are constructed 30cm from the property boundary and are 1.5m wide when constructed). There shouldn’t be an intrusion onto any existing footpaths.
These features must be incorporated into the landscape design plan to show there is no interference and access is not restricted.
In some instances, neighbours will need to be contacted to inform them of the proposed works. Please read Things to consider before preparing your naturestrip plan and applying online.
Apply to change your naturestrip
Apply online - Naturestrip Planting Application
Things to consider
Existing services within the naturestrip
It is the responsibility of the owner to locate all existing services prior to the commencement of works.
Contact ‘Dial before you dig’ on 1100 for location of existing service details. Or visit the Dial before you dig website for further information.
If services are suspected of being damaged during landscaping works, the relevant utility provider must be notified immediately for the purpose of public safety and to ensure early resumption of services. You will be responsible for any damage caused to the utility services by the works.
The ongoing maintenance of the naturestrip and landscaping will be the responsibility of the owner. If you sell your property, the landscaping is to be removed at owner’s cost unless the new purchaser agrees to the ongoing maintenance in writing.
The use of in ground sprinkler systems is discouraged to promote water conservation and overcome maintenance problems. Hand watering is the approved option for any planting on the naturestrip.
It is prohibited to:
- use hard landscaping features, such as railway sleepers or rocks
- construct letter boxes, gate entry pillars or erect fences on the naturestrip
- change soil levels, create mounds or excavate holes.
In special circumstances, i.e. stabilising embankments, the use of some hard landscaping features may be approved, but only if access to utility services is not affected.
Plant species which are known to cause problems due to invasive roots, sharp spikes or leaves, suckering growth habit, identified bushland invaders or allergic, poisonous or weed species will not be approved.
Significant Roadside Areas
Certain streets or roads within the municipality have significant vegetation found within the naturestrip area and are classified as Significant Roadside Areas. Council maintains these Significant Roadside Areas to conserve the vegetation present. Landscaping of these areas will only be feasible if it contributes to the protection and enhancement of local vegetation present on the site. Contact Council’s Operations Team on 1300 88 22 33 to find out if your naturestrip falls under an Significant Roadside Area.
Water Sensitive Urban Design
Roads and streets within the municipality that include Water Sensitive Urban Design within the street landscape will include aspects of the naturestrip area.
The function of Water Sensitive Urban Design is to filter the pollutants from stormwater runoff before it enters our creeks and rivers. Council is responsible for the maintenance of these systems incorporated into the naturestrip within Maroondah. This vegetation cannot be removed or altered by adjoining property owners.
Contact Council on 1300 88 22 33 to find out if Water Sensitive Urban Design is incorporated into your naturestrip.
Tree protection zones
Trees require space to be left free of planting to protect their root zone (a tree protection zone).
The tree protection zone is calculated by measuring the diameter of the trunk at chest height and multiplying this number by 12 to determine the closest distance to the tree where planting is allowed.
For young trees, the minimum distance is two metres and for large trees the maximum distance is 15 metres. You can plant lawn or place mulch within the tree protection zone and any associated soil disturbance must be shallow to avoid damage to the trees root system. Any trees planted must be a minimum of 2.0m from existing vehicle crossovers.
Contact Council’s Operations Team on 1300 88 22 33 for more information on tree protection zones.
Public safety and access
Council’s requirements for public safety and access must be complied with. The landscaping should not interfere with public assets and the following should be considered:
- the effect on neighbouring properties
- access for people with disabilities
- access for people with young children in prams or strollers
- access to bus stops
- access to letterboxes.
All proposed works should consider the impact of the landscaping on the existing Council and utility services infrastructure. This includes potential damage to underground services by supporting tree stakes; the projected mature growth of trees; roots that may block drains and disrupt telecommunication services; tree branches that can interfere with street lights and overhead power lines or restrict roadside visibility and obstruct footpaths. The owner/occupier will be responsible for any damage caused to the infrastructure by the works.
Safety fencing and signage
If works are approved, once landscape work is in progress the work site should be signed and barricaded to ensure public safety. The site fence must not restrict access for pedestrians on the 1.5 metre pedestrian path.
Who has final say over the naturestrip?
Council and other public service providers retain the right to prune, modify or remove any landscaping at any time, without obligation, compensation or reinstatement to the owner/occupier to ensure the continuing provision of their services to the community.
If an owner/occupier alters the landscape to the extent that access to a utility or Council asset is difficult, the cost of any extra works to achieve both temporary and permanent access will be paid by the owner.