Mayor’s Minute

Be mindful of right of way

By Ann Roth - For the Enterprise

Recently, a Swanton resident asked if she could plant flowers around the perimeter of the trees that were planted in front of her house in the right of way. While this may look attractive, it is not healthy, and therefore, not recommended.

Planting in the areas around street trees, especially newly planted specimens, is not recommended for several reasons. The young root systems around the tree are easily damaged, plus the plantings steal nutrients meant to propagate a robust future tree. Based upon the size of the tree that was planted, it will take up to two years for the young tree to become established and show any growth.

Should the tree not take and die, The Village would re-plant it, and that would destroy any flowers that might be around it. Therefore, you should place your plantings in your yard where they can provide many years of pleasure.

Also, the space between the sidewalk and the curb is a right of way, and its use is controlled by the village for utility maintenance. Anything planted there, whether planted by a homeowner or the Village, becomes the property of the Village. Even though your property deed shows you own the property to the curb, the tree lawns are considered by the Ohio Revised Code to be part of the utility system and the Village. Residents are responsible for mowing the tree lawn and also for all sidewalk maintenance, including snow removal and sidewalk repair and replacement.

We really appreciate residents’ efforts in wanting to make their home exteriors beautiful. We encourage citizens to always contact the Village office first when making improvements to their properties. There are rules and guidelines, and permits are required for accessory buildings, pools, and fences.

The Swanton Planning Commission and the Swanton Tree Commission both have numerous publications located on the wall in the lobby of Village Hall that answer most questions about these subjects. These pamphlets are for your use and are free to take and share with others. We appreciate your cooperation.

Be mindful of right of way

By Ann Roth

For the Enterprise