whose grass is it?

Hal Opperman hal at catharus.net
Thu Mar 21 18:05:55 PST 2002

Hi folks,

Before getting indignant that some private citizen would put up a
tape to protect vegetation from being trampled on "public" land, it
might be worth asking who is responsible for maintaing these odd bits
of land in city ownership. I haven't investigated the situation for
the Painted Bunting site (has anyone else?), but it would be wholly
typical if the city assigned responsibility for landscaping and
maintaining this place to the adjacent property owners. That's the
rule, for example, for "parking strips" and unopened streets, which
by law are to be maintained by the homeowners although the city holds
title to them.

If such an area got trampled down or otherwise damaged, it would be a
cold day in hell before the city sent a truck and crew around to fix
it... using "our" dollars for the repair. On the other hand, if the
adjacent property owners let it grow up to unsightly brush, or erode
into a gully due to lack of proper ground cover, the city could well
be within its rights to send out the truck and crew... and bill the
property owner.

Just a thought....

Hal Opperman
Medina, Washington
hal at catharus.net

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