Sustainability – Landscape Management Code

On July 18, 2022, city council approved an amendment to Chapter 551, Weeds, of the Oakwood General Offenses code renaming it to “Landscape Management” and incorporating new provisions to authorize the establishment of managed natural landscape areas on private property within the city.  The purpose of the amendment was to encourage the use of native vegetation throughout the city to maximize ecological and aesthetic benefits while respecting existing community values regarding landscaping to include well-maintained yards, preservation of sight lines, compatibility with existing structures, and public safety.  Ecological benefits of “managed natural landscapes” include enhancement of pollinator support habitat, stormwater management, carbon sequestration, erosion control, and preservation of biodiversity.”  The updated code adds provisions to expressly authorize property owners to establish “managed natural landscape areas” on their property but, importantly, it does not give property owners permission to neglect their yards or allow them to “go wild.”  The key concept behind a managed natural landscape area is that it must be “managed and maintained” as required by the new ordinance.  Before designing a managed natural landscape, property owners should review the city’s Landscape Management regulations in Chapter 551 of the Codified Ordinances.  To learn more about native plants, including how to begin planting with natives, check out this Native Plant Guide with helpful links and ideas.

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