Permission To Plant: Exploring The Legalities Of Landscaping

Posted on: 21 January 2015

Naturally, your climate, budget and style would determine what type of landscaping you'll use, but what about the governing influences of your area? Throughout the country, laws are established defining what types and methods of landscaping property owners are allowed to use. See how various areas regulate landscape designs based upon regional topography, community objectives and even for aesthetic purposes.

Not All Greenery Is Welcome

The public is responsible for protecting the livelihood of the community that they reside in. It is not conducive to utilize materials that impose on your environment. Several states set ordinances regulating the type of plants used and to what extent.

Florida has strong regulations pertaining to plant species. The list of exotic plants that are prohibited within the state include things like water spinach. This invasive plant should not be used in landscape design, especially if your property backs up on a larger body of water, such as a canal or pond. The invasive nature of water spinach hinders flood control, which is a crucial issue in the low-lying state of Florida.

Throughout the state of Arizona, water conservation is a leading concern. Plants and trees that can tolerate drought conditions, like the acacia variety, are to be used throughout the vast majority of your landscape. Water features and grassy areas are to encompass only 2%-5% of an outside area in Tucson. 

Limits to the Work Performed

Some localities differentiate landscape maintenance and landscape construction. The former is the routine upkeep of your lawn, such as mowing or tending to plants. Landscape construction involves the physical installation of a project including irrigation systems, decks and even the planting of vegetation. The state of Oregon requires any persons who wish to title themselves as a landscape professional and perform service for others to be licensed.

Beautification as a Requirement

Did you know some communities enforce landscape design as an obligation? In Chicago, any business establishments or residential dwellings that house four or more family units are required to have vegetation, trees, and visually appealing hardscapes (driveways, parking lots, etc.). These stipulations are set in place as an effort to increase property values and provide a greener environment with less pollution, heat and noise.

Whenever starting a new landscape project, be sure to check your local laws and regulations. Specific ordinances may be handled by various departments, such as zoning and planning, forestry, or public works, depending upon your locality. For more information, you can also contact a local landscaping company like CNC Lawn Care, Inc.