Although the verge does not belong to the property owner (verges are owned by the Crown and managed by the City), it is the householders/ property owner's responsibility to maintain the verge and ensure that footpaths, roadways and sightlines always remain free from obstructions to allow pedestrian access along the verge area, in preference to walking on the roadway, regardless of whether a footpath has been constructed or not.
By verges we mean that portion of land extending between the Lot boundary and the adjacent road. Many properties only have front verges; however some corner properties also have side verges and/or rear verges. The small gardens in front of cottage blocks between the pathway and the road are also the responsibility of the homeowner.
This guidance covers the following issues:
Verge and Street Trees
Maintenance of Verges (including vegetation and trees)
Treatment of Verges (e.g. paving of verges)
Parking of Vehicles on Verges
Verge and Street Trees
Residents are encouraged to green their streets by planting trees on their verges. These are supplied free of charge by the City of Joondalup or residents can choose to supply and plant their own verge trees, but it must be done with the approval of the City. In both instances the tree species is selected from the City's Preferred Tree Species List.
Street trees that are to be planted by the City are planted during the winter and all application forms need to be received by 31st March of each year to ensure stock availability. Street tree planting applications are subject to a site inspection. Once planted, it is the responsibility of the resident to water the street verge tree(s).
The City of Joondalup is responsible for maintaining residential verge trees. Any maintenance required should be reported via the City's Operation Services by phone 9400 4255, email: email@example.com or by completing the application form.
Street trees (i.e. trees on verges) are considered to be City of Joondalup assets (even if they were planted by homeowners). As such, maintenance of street trees is the responsibility of City of Joondalup. If a street tree on your verge requires pruning, or has been damaged by vandalism, traffic collision, or has died, the property owner should report this to City of Joondalup for their action, via the City's Operation Services by phone 9400 4255, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the application form. Please see Tree Management Guidelines for more information.
Removal of trees from the verge or damage to trees by anyone other than City of Joondalup is an offence and offenders may be prosecuted. The City of Joondalup will only remove a tree if it is considered dead, dying, diseased, structurally unsound or causing structural damage to surrounding infrastructure.
Maintenance of Verges
The property owner is responsible for maintenance of the verges associated with the property. This would include verges that are grassed over, mulched, planted or paved. For corner blocks, the responsibility for verge maintenance includes the side verge (irrespective of whether the property has a high wall on the side boundary). For properties with street access at front and rear, the responsibility for verge maintenance includes the front and rear verges.
Note that responsibility lies with the property owner where the Lot is unsold (ie owned by PEET), vacant land, or with a property under construction.
Where the verge includes a footpath, it is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that the footpath remains free from obstructions (e.g. parked vehicles, caravans, boats, trailers, overhanging tree branches, excessive vegetation, rubbish bins).
Treatment of Verges
Property owners may wish to pave over the verges (e.g. to make it easier to maintain). However you must be aware of restrictions on treatment of verges (e.g. to enable access to buried services).
If a property owner plans verge treatment that complies with the Street Verge Guidelines set by the City of Joondalup, there is no need for the property owner to seek approval from City of Joondalup. If a non-compliant verge treatment is planned, the property owner must complete and submit an application form to City of Joondalup in advance, and await approval in writing.
Parking of Vehicles on Verges
It is not uncommon for cars to be parked on verges from time to time (e.g. when a resident is hosting a party). Cars should not be parked on the verge without obtaining prior approval from the property owner/resident. Best efforts should be made to avoid vehicles temporarily parked on verges becoming a significant safety hazard.
Note that occasional parking of cars is quite different from parking of caravans, boats and trailers on verges.
Verge parking of caravans, boats and trailers is not permitted at any time. This includes encroachment of such vehicles onto verges (e.g. where a caravan is parked on a driveway but part of the caravan extends to the verge).
It is inherently obvious that caravans, boats and trailers should not be parked in a way that obstructs any part of a footpath. However the City of Joondalup has clarified that such vehicles must not be parked on verges at any time, even where there is no footpath.
The above guidelines set out the responsibilities of property owners. Note that City of Joondalup does have some responsibility for enforcement, however does not have resources to continuously monitor compliance.
Residents are encouraged to report apparent non-compliances to City of Joondalup Infrastructure Services (Telephone 94004255 or 1300 369972 or by email to email@example.com).