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  • #63767

    I live in a medium sized strata complex in the south of Sydney.  There are plans to establish a garden in the council-owned nature strip outside of our complex, although the council says we should not do this, but this is their standard response to this question.  There is some debate over funding for this garden;  are we able to use OC funds – Capital Works Funds – for this non-OC garden, even though the visual benefits will flow to the individual owners?


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  • #63771

    Whilst the nature strip is council owned, you will find most councils require the land owner fronting it to maintain it. I guess at a minimum the council expects the landowner to mow the strip and keep weeds under control.

    Secondly, the act allows an OC to spend money to benefit the OC. Thst can be interpreted broadly, but one could argue thst beautification of the nature strip is a benefit as the improved streetscape could lead to higher property values.

    If the owners decide to improve the nature strip, it would probably require a special resolution, as it is an improvement .


    Flame Tree (Qld)

    I’d doubt you would survive a challenge if spending owner’s funds not directly on the property that owners contributed it toward. They way around it might be to keep it off the books and simply ask owners for a cash contribution for such should they choose to contribute.


    I’d doubt you would survive a challenge … the way around it might be to keep it off the books and simply ask owners for a cash contribution … should they choose to contribute.

    I agree … but wouldn’t it be better to see if anyone is going to challenge it and, if so, activate plan B, as you describe above? No one will be going to jail over a well-intentioned error.

    • This reply was modified 6 days, 19 hours ago by .

    Hi, I work in a parks and gardens unit of a council. I’d definitely speak to the department of your council  who manage the nature strip, and get permission before spending money or putting in your garden. It is public land and public assets, that belongs to the general public, not private property, and it will have a specified land use on your LEP and a specific allocated maintenance regime. It could turn into an ongoing saga. Council could remove your garden.

    Some councils have programs for people to claim and beautify road verges or strip out front or may be friendly to it if it’s compatible with the intended land use or one of their policies or programs, such as increasing trees, or sustainable living >>> definitely explore these approaches.

    As an example, an area I maintain is a patch of a critically endangered ecosystem located in the middle of a unit block. It was an offset as part of development conditions (ie units were only allowed to be built on the condition that that part remained as bushland conservation). A resident has complained about this “nature strip”. If someone was to put a garden in there they would be harming a federally listed critically endangered ecological community. It is a criminal offence and big fines and gaol terms can apply. So absolutely, check, talk to and get permission, make sure what you want to do is compatible with the allocated land use. Council also have obligations to maintain safety of the spaces they manage. So check, and make sure anything you do, you have council on side first.


    Also with council on side you might get some funding, free mulch or plants from Council.


    Hi there,

    Thanks for your replies.  It looks as though the “common benefit” argument is likely to win the day, although the point that the council, or any other utility (NBN??) may destroy the nature strip garden may cause some owners to think about this.


    Hi Tones, I was thinking more about this.

    Other people here can/ have answered your original question better than I can.

    As far as council goes, if it’s just the mown strip at front between building and road, and you’re just wanting to plant flowers/ annuals/ smaller herbaceous plants without larger root systems and don’t pose any kind of hazard, Council are unlikely to bother much about it?

    Yes, issues could be access to sewer, water and electrical, nbn etc underneath, power lines overhead, or affecting traffic visibility. Also removing any existing trees could be problematic (most councils have tree protection orders).

    You can probably check councils land mapping on their website? Zoning and other layers. And talk to someone in the environment unit. Say you want to make a bird/ bee friendly garden , improve visual amenity, streetscape, inctease green space, contribute to cooling the urban environment – that sort of thing will tick boxes 🙂


    May I suggest that, as others have said, you contact your council? Many have rules about “verge” gardening, particularly regarding to car parking. They often require the plant selection used allows a car that is parallel parked to still be able to open the kerbside doors and allow people to get in and out easily. This is mostly enforced in areas were there is a lot of street parking used and less so in the suburbs.


    And may I suggest that, even before contacting your local council, you visit Dial Before You Dig which will show you what underground surprises await your gardeners. Gas mains, high-voltage electricity, even perhaps a railway – they’ll all surface in a DBYD query. Then you’ll know you’re not asking  your council for the impossible.

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