Can I cut the branches of my neighbor's trees or bushes?
This is a commonly asked question because the problem occurs in nearly every neighborhood where aging landscape conditions exist. The City does not have the authority to require a property owner to trim or remove trees, branches, or shrubbery unless it overhangs into a public right-of-way, impeding either pedestrian or vehicular traffic, or unless the vegetation is dead and presents a potential hazard. The property owner is responsible for removing all dead, diseased or dangerous trees, stumps and broken or decayed limbs which constitute a menace to the safety of the public.
Instead, this particular question is a good example of a civil matter between property owners. We do recommend that individuals attempt to work this out amicably with their neighbor; however, if both parties are unable to resolve the problem satisfactorily, then they have the option of working through the court system, with or without an attorney. You may trim any offending branches/vegetation back to the neighbor’s property line, as long as the trimming does not impact the future life or aesthetic value of the plant.
Who is responsible for trimming the trees and bushes that overhang the streets and sidewalks?
The adjoining property owner is required to trim all trees and bushes from their property to the street. As a general rule, bushes cannot extend over a vertical line above the edge of the sidewalk. Overhanging trees should be trimmed to not less than 8 feet above a sidewalk, and 14 feet above the street. Property owners are also responsible for pruning tree branches and shrubs so they do not obstruct the view of any street or alley intersection.
The house next door is vacant and the grass hasn't been mowed for some time. Can anything be done?
Yes. Our city ordinance states that grass and weeds over 8 inches high are declared to be a nuisance and must be cut. Noxious vegetation of any height is strictly prohibited. The owner of the property is sent a notice to mow and eradicate any noxious weeds.
When do I need to shovel snow off my sidewalk?
Sidewalks must be shoveled as soon as practical after the snow has stopped. Residents are required to keep all sidewalks completely clear of snow, ice and obstructions. Click here to read the applicable city ordinance.
Can I keep my portable basketball backstop on the sidewalk or in the street?
No. Privately owned sporting equipment such as basketball backboard structures, hockey nets, skateboard ramps and similar items may not be permanently left in the public right-of-way. The public right-of-way includes the street, sidewalk, and alleys. Residents are asked to put these items back on their private property once they are done using them so that the public and city maintenance equipment may access the area.
Can a shed be built right next to the property line?
Garden/storage sheds need to meet the setback requirements of the city zoning regulations. A shed should by placed far enough away from any wall or fence to allow cutting of grass and weeds.
Do I need a permit to build my shed?
One-story detached accessory structures (sheds) do not need a permit if the floor area does not exceed 200 square feet. However, you still need to meet all setback requirements from your property lines. Contact the building department for additional questions.
Can I install a fence or retaining wall without a permit?
Fences not over 6 six tall and retaining walls less than 4 feet in height, measured from the grade on the exposed side to the top of the wall, do not require permits. There are other regulations restricting the height of fences and walls. Contact the building department for more information.
Why can't I have a couch on my porch?
Furniture intended for indoor use placed outside of your house is considered junk and debris. Moisture will cause mildew inside of the furniture, which is a health hazard. They also attract rodents and other non-desirable creatures.
Do I need to have my house number displayed on my home?
Yes. City ordinance requires all buildings and homes to display the city assigned house/address number. Prompt identification is critical In the event of an emergency. Click here to see the size, location, and color requirements for proper identification.