Landscape and Drainage Questions and Answers
Q. I've just purchased a new home in Woodbury and I am planning the landscaping. I've heard a little about boulevards and I know there are easements on my property. What is their purpose?
A. The boulevard is part of the street right of way. It is used for installation and maintenance of sewer and water lines and storage of snow in the winter. Planting trees or bushes in the boulevard, street right-of-way, is not permitted. Lawn sprinkler systems are allowed in the boulevard; however the city will not repair sprinkler systems damaged by snowplows or other work. Boulevard widths vary from 6 feet to 18 feet in residential areas. Typical width is 13 feet. To verify the boulevard width on your lot, contact the Building Department at firstname.lastname@example.org 651-714-3543, or Engineering at email@example.com 651-714-3593.
Q. Now I understand the boulevard is part of the street right of way, but what are the easements for?
A. Easements allow certain rights on a property. Drainage easements give the city rights to regulate drainage within the easement area. Utility easements give utility companies (electric, gas, phone, etc) rights to install utilities in these easements. Typical city lots will have 5-foot easements on the side yards and 10-foot easements on the front and rear yard. It should be noted that the front yard easement is in addition to the boulevard. Individual lot surveys will show these easements.
Q. May I plant trees or bushes in the easements?
A. Plantings such as trees and bushes may be placed in drainage and utility easements at the risk of the property owner, provided they do not change or interfere with the drainage. The city does not encourage extensive plantings or landscaping in the easement area because of potential drainage problems and the possibility of utility work in the easements. The city or utility companies will not replace plantings or landscaping removed or damaged during work within the easement area.
Q. Do I need city approval to work in the easement area?
A. Any work that would change or interfere with the drainage on the easements or any part of the property, should be approved by the Engineering Department before starting the work.
Q. Is there anything else I should know?
A. The City of Woodbury passed an ordinance to reduce erosion in 1994. It requires turf be established within 60 days, excluding the time between October 1st and May 1st, of the city issuing a Certificate of Occupancy. We would also like to remind you to maintain, until turf is established, any silt fence or hay bale erosion control systems that may be on your lot.
Q. Many cities have lawn sprinkling restrictions. Do we have any in Woodbury?
A. To ensure adequate water pressure and minimize the chance of shortfalls during times of peak water use, the City of Woodbury has adopted an odd-even watering policy, and a daily watering ban from noon until 5 pm. Residents who have even-numbered houses may water lawns on even-numbered calendar days; residents with odd-numbered homes may water on odd-numbered days. If you are considering purchasing a lawn sprinkler system, it is a good idea to look for one that may be easily set for odd or even days. Special watering permits can be obtained for newly placed sod or seed by contacting Public Works firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-714-3720.