Verges are the property of the Crown, but the City of Cockburn is vested with responsibility for them. Verges serve a number of purposes, including utilities to service properties, footpaths, crossovers and street trees. You are allowed to improve your verge in a number of ways, but you must adhere to the City’s guidelines.
A Verge is the portion of land that lies between the road pavement and an adjacent property line. The Verge remains the property of the Crown, but is a shared resource and is used in a number of different ways:
- Verges enable a number of utilities to service residential, commercial or private lots — telecommunications, electricity, gas, water and sewage.
- A Crossover (also known as a driveway), is established to connect a property to the road and is the responsibility of the property owner.
- Verges enable the City to plant street trees to create aesthetically pleasing streetscapes and mitigate the impacts of the “heat Island effect”.
- Verges provide the frameworks for the installation of a footpath either adjacent to the kerb or in close proximity to the property boundary. Verges have the potential to serve important ecological functions in urban environments.
Verges are the property of the Crown, but the City of Cockburn is vested with responsibility for managing them.
The City encourages the maintenance of verges, front and/or side, by the adjacent property owner. Council Verge maintenance is limited to street tree pruning and the cutting of grass up to four times per year, upon request.
Council cannot control weed growth by mechanical means, so weeds along footpaths and kerbs are sprayed when they become a problem. The chemical used is Glyshophate, which is non-residual and kills the weed by absorption through the leaves and transferring to the root system. The City avoids weed spraying where possible, especially on verges that are well maintained. Every endeavour is made not to spray verges that are well maintained, but sometimes this inadvertently happens. If you wish, your well-maintained verge can be added to a list of properties not to be sprayed.
The City encourages you to undertake verge improvements adjacent to your property, but has some guidelines that you will need to follow. The following treatments are permitted on verges.
Drought tolerant lawn such as kikuyu and couch are water wise species which brown off in mid-summer but regenerate with winter rains. Buffalo grass may also be used, but requires a more intensive regime of maintenance and irrigation.
Shrubs and groundcovers are encouraged but need to be kept to a maximum height of 600mm. A 1.5m strip along the back of the road kerb should be made available for pedestrians, and a potential future footpath
Edible Gardens are permitted on the verge subject to regular maintenance. No built or prefabricated structures are permitted and timber stakes must be setback 2metres from the kerb.
Street trees chosen by the City, can be supplied and planted at the request of the property owner.
Please see Street Trees for more information.
Irrigation is permitted, however, the cost of installation and maintenance of reticulation is the responsibility of the land owner.
Synthetic turf is generally not supported, however if a property owner seeks to apply to install synthetic turf, a street tree is to be installed for every 20m2 of turf on a porous base. It is not to be used for parking and must be maintained in a neat state.
Paving to the entire verge will only be permitted where it has been proven necessary for the provision of parking to the property. However, all paved areas must provide space for at least one street tree and drainage to prevent water run off onto the City’s road network.
Please note that under Clause 9.4 of the City of Cockburn’s Local Law (2000), verges which contravene the City’s Verge Improvements Policy (AEW1), or are poorly maintained or non-permissible, may be redeveloped to comply with the policy at a cost to the landowner adjacent to the verge.
There are a number of improvement and items that are not permitted on verges. Please note that the following list is a guide only, and more information can be obtained from the City:
- Man-made structures such as letterboxes, fences, barriers, steps, walls, bollards, garden stakes, bunting, signs, fountains, ornaments and ornamental lighting, basketball hoops
- Ground cover and materials such as loose bricks, rocks, logos, inorganic granular material such as gravel, concrete or asphalt (other than for crossovers)
- Retaining walls, sudden changes in level or gradients that are hazardous to pedestrians using the verge, or that reduce the minimum cover over buried services beneath the verge.