A verge is the portion of land that lies between the road pavement and an adjacent property boundary. Although the property of the Crown, verges are a shared resource and are used in a number of ways:
- Verges enable 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.
Verge maintenance responsibilities
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 mowing 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 Glyphosate, which is non-residual and kills the weed by absorption through the leaves and transferring to the root system.
Request verge maintenance
To request verge maintenance please contact us.
The City encourages you to undertake verge improvements adjacent to your property, but has some guidelines that you will need to follow.
Permitted verge improvements
Under the City's Street Verge Improvement Policy the following treatments are permitted on verges.
Please note conditions for each improvement below. If you are making a significant change to the verge, you will need to seek approval from the City.
Please complete the online Verge Landscaping Application Form
- Drought tolerant lawn: 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: Must 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: Must be maintained regularly. No built or prefabricated structures are permitted and timber stakes must be setback 2metres from the kerb. Produce shall only grow to a maximum height of 600mm.
- Street trees: Requests for planting of street trees can be made by the property owner. Please refer to ‘Street trees – pruning and planting’.
- Irrigation: The cost of installation and maintenance of reticulation is the responsibility of the land owner.
- Synthetic turf: Although generally not supported, 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 shall not be used for parking and must be maintained in a neat state. Where the City conducts works to verges with synthetic turf, the City will only make the verge safe upon the completion of the works. All costs associated with reinstatement of the synthetic turf will be the responsibility of the property owner.
- Paving: Paving of 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.
Non-permitted verge improvements
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.
Property owners can register their interest to convert their existing verge into a waterwise haven.
Please ensure that all designs and enquiries conform with Water Corporation water wise verge requirements and City's Street Verge Improvement Policy.
Water Wise Verge Guidelines and Tips:
Developing Your Verge - Guidelines for Good Design
How to Create a Waterwise Verge – Water Corporation
Creating a Waterwise Verge – Water Corporation Video Tips
Waterwise Verge Incentive enquiries and design applications may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org