Right-of-way Vegetation Program​

Within the city, planting and maintaining trees can provide multiple benefits some of which include lowering the temperature on a hot day, reducing the likelihood of flooding and erosion by trapping rainwater in their leaves and roots, and increasing property values. As a member of the Tree City USA program for the past 24 years the City of Moscow has made a significant commitment to ensuring that residents can continue to enjoy these benefits for many years to come. ​

The City of Moscow conducts rights-of way vegetation inspections to ensure that the streets, sidewalks and sight triangles are trimmed in compliance with State and City Codes, and to assure the safety of the traveling public. The trimming is also imperative to the sweeping program, as it allows equipment operators to sweep the curb-line in a safe and effective manner. The specific requirements for the trimming of street trees is covered in Title 5 Section 8 of the City Code which is linked below:

Care of Street Trees

Failure to comply with the Ordinance will result in enforcement action by the City of Moscow and restitution/reimbursement to the City for costs associated with bringing the property into compliance. 

In order to ensure the street trees are properly maintained, the City is divided into four (4) annual inspection areas. 

Right-of-way Vegetation Program Zones

Each area is inspected annually on a rotating basis; other specific property may be included outside the annual area to be inspected on an as-needed basis.  Property owners within each area will be notified in the Fall of the previous year, prior to their area being inspected, with flyers which provide information on the Vegetation Program and which notifies them that City crews will arrive in the spring to inspect their area.  The notice shall also provide background information on the program and contact information for the Public Works Department. Additional notification will be sent to property owners in the spring, a minimum of two (2) weeks before crews start work in each portion of the service area being inspected. This notification will provide the dates that crews will be in the service area.  Property owners are encouraged to contact the City if they have any questions or concerns. Certified Streets crews will then inspect the area to assure compliance with City Code. They will conduct minor trimming as needed to bring properties into compliance at this time.  Properties that are estimated to take thirty (30) minutes or more to trim will not be trimmed at that time and will be documented and passed along through the enforcement process.

Criteria for Trimming/Reimbursement

Trimming will be conducted in accordance with Title 5 Chapter 8 of the City of Moscow Code.   
  • Property owners are encouraged to maintain their vegetation in compliance with the established criteria. 
  • Certified Streets crews will inspect each area and trim as needed to assure compliance with state and local regulations (City of Moscow Code Title 5 Chapters 8 and 14, and Idaho Code § 49-221). 
  • ​Minor trimming will be conducted at no direct cost to the property owner to assure compliance. 
  • ​For locations requiring thirty (30) minutes or more of trimming, the owner of the adjacent property will be notified of the violation and given ten (10) days to bring said property into compliance with Moscow City Code.  If property is not brought into compliance after said notice, property owner will be issued a misdemeanor citation pursuant to Moscow City Code § 5-8-11(E) and the City will pursue reimbursement for the costs to the City to remedy the noncompliance with City Code.  For the purpose of determining the reimbursement amount, the ​
    cost will include the wages for two (2) City Street Department employees per hour in addition to the cost of the required trimming equipment needed to perform the trimming 

​​Trimming Requirements

The areas of concern are the vertical clear areas above the streets and sidewalks and the sight triangles at the corners of intersections. The following photographs show the different scenarios that apply to property owners. 


Minimum Vertical Clearance: Mid Block Lots

Areas Bound by the Mid Block Diagram:

  • ​Vegetation over sidewalks must be pruned to provide 8 feet of vertical clearance. Vegetation that overhangs the street must be pruned to provide 12 feet of vertical clearance.



​Intersection Sight Triangle: Corner Lots

Areas Bound by the Intersection Vision Triangle:

  • ​The Sightline shall be kept clear of obstructions to provide motorists with adequate sight distance at and intersection.
  • Within the Vertical Clear Area on an Intersection Vision Triangle, all existing trees shall be trimmed to allow 10 feet of clearance between any vegetation and the ground behind the curb face. The property frontage (curb face where curb exists, edge of road where there is no curb) shall be trimmed to allow for a 12 foot clearance. Within the vertical clear area all shrubs and fences shall be maintained below a height of 3 feet. 
  • Sight obstruction measurements shall be in reference to the centerline elevation of the street​ adjacent to the vision triangle. If Curb does not exist, the vision triangle will be measured by extending the edges of street pavement. If the street is gravel, the vision triangle will be measured by extending the far edge of the gravel road way as determined by the City Engineer or their representative. 

If your property is on a corner with two intersecting street, both diagrams apply to your property. The Mid Block Diagram should be referenced for any area of your property along the street right-of-way outside of the 40 foot sight triangle at the corner of your property. If your property is not a corner property, you only need to reference the Mid Block Diagram. If your property does not have a sidewalk, you only need to trim the 12 foot height along the street. 



Contact Us

Steve Schulte - 
Street Department Supervisor


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