One of the best things about Wallingford is the walkable sidewalks we have, separated from roadways by planting strips. Unfortunately, sometimes trees or hedges or other vegetation blocks those sidewalks, especially when it’s raining outside.
Legally, sidewalks and planting strips are public land that adjacent property owners are responsible for maintaining. People are required to keep their sidewalk entirely clear up to a height of 8 feet. The first-time penalty for violating that ordinance is $150. The penalty for additional violations is $500.
If you are on good terms with a neighbor and can be diplomatic and see them outside, go ahead and talk to them about trimming back their trees or hedges. I offer to cut the branches- some people are just too busy are unable to do the upkeep themselves.
Unfortunately, some people take offense because they see their parking strips and sidewalk as being their property. People can get very touchy about their property, and ghosting an offended neighbor is not an option. I’ve even had a neighbor chuck rocks at my dog for peeing on “their” parking strip.
If the neighbor is not available or you happen to have an insane neighbor, the Seattle bureaucracy is there to help. If you are on a computer, go here to file a complaint:
If on your phone, use the find it, fix it app here:
If you want to know all the ins and outs of gardening on your parking strip, here is a guide:
And, finally, if you want a street tree then the government will give you one and mark where it is safe to put it so as to not harm sewer lines: