ROW Vegetation Compliance
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 25 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 (PDF). 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 annual inspection areas. View the 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 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 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 30 minutes or more of trimming, the owner of the adjacent property will be notified of the violation and given 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 City Street Department employees per hour in addition to the cost of the required trimming equipment needed to perform the trimming work.
The areas of concern are the vertical clear areas above the streets and sidewalks and the sight triangles at the corners of intersections.
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
This diagram pertains to the City Right of Way which includes streets, alleys, and sidewalks. Vegetation that protrudes into the street or alley must be trimmed to provide 12 feet of vertical clearance from curb to curb or any maintained portion of the roadway in the absence of curb. Vegetation over sidewalks must be trimmed to provide 8feet of vertical clearance the entire width of the sidewalk. This diagram is also used on corner lots for areas outside the Sight Triangle. If you have afire hydrant anywhere on your property, a 3 foot area around the hydrant must be kept clear to ensure adequate operation by Firefighters and Water Distribution Operators. Please note that inspections will be conducted in the spring and vegetation may hang lower due to the weight of the added foliage.
Intersection Sight Triangle Diagram:
This diagram is only for properties on a corner lot. In this area, all vegetation must be cut back within the sight triangle to allow adequate visibility for motorist and pedestrians. This area is called the Sight Triangle and is measured 40 feet from the face of each curb starting at the Curb Face Intersection. Small shrubs and other obstacles such as fences may be in this area but must be kept below a3 foot height. Larger trees must be trimmed up to 10 feet but anything hanging out into the street or alley must be trimmed to 12 feet. All of these measurements are made from the height of the center of the street. If curb does not exist, the vision triangle will be measured from the edge of the road surface.
If you need ADA accessible assistance or feel this or any other City of Moscow project is impacting your ability to access public services, please email the City of Moscow or call 208-883-7600.