If you rent or own a home or business in Kingston, you are responsible for ensuring that any footpaths that adjoin your property are free from obstructions to pedestrians and traffic.
Footpaths are important and are used for safe passage by pedestrians. Overhanging branches create unsafe situations and can cause traffic hazards. Removing obstructions ensures the path is clear for all users including people with specific access needs, such as prams and wheelchairs, the elderly and sight impaired, and will ensure safety for all pedestrians and traffic. Obstructions include vegetation such as trees, shrubs and ground covering.Council asks residents to monitor vegetation on their property to ensure that branches are pruned back to the property line and to a minimum height of 2.4 metres from the footpath in accordance with Council’s Community Local Law.
If a complaint is received by Council that your property has overhanging vegetation, the first step will be for a Local Laws Officer to inspect the property. If the Officer deems that there are overhanging branches or shrubs blocking the footpath, the Officer will issue a Notice to Comply requesting certain works be completed by a specific date. If the works are not completed by that date or alternative arrangements have not been made with the Officer, a contractor may be enlisted to complete the work on behalf of Council. Once the work is completed to the satisfaction of Council an invoice will be sent to you for payment of these works.
You may also receive two infringement notices: the first notice for failing to comply with the Notice to Comply and a second notice for the actual offence of having overhanging vegetation.
Council does not have the power to address complaints regarding trees or branches that are causing you a concern from abutting fence-lines with your neighbour’s property. This is a civil matter and is best resolved by negotiating direct with your neighbour. Should this prove difficult you can contact the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria on 1800 658 528 (free call). This service is free, confidential and easy to use. Interpreters are provided.
If you see a property that has overhanging vegetation, please contact Council's Local Laws Department on 1300 653 356 who will then arrange for an Office to inspect the property.