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Mowing and Ground Maintenance Within Street Rights of Way

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POLICY STATEMENT 75

MOWING AND GROUNDS MAINTENANCE WITHIN STREET RIGHTS OF WAY

Prepared by:                        Scott Hecht

Supersedes:                         9/13/91

Adopted by Council:           10/30/14

Effective:                               10/30/14 

Purpose  

The purpose of this policy is to establish the responsibility for mowing and grounds maintenance of those areas within the Cary Town limits that are within street rights of way, that are behind the curb and gutter, that are within traffic or median islands and that are beyond the edge of pavement on street without curb and gutter.

Coverage 

This policy, upon adoption by the Town Council, shall be applicable to the mowing and grounds maintenance by Town forces, by individual property owners and by homeowners associations of areas within street rights of way in the Town of Cary corporate limits, and shall remain in effect until such a time that it is altered, modified or rescinded by the Town Council. 

Policy 

Definitions 

Street Right of Way:  The land area in which a paved or gravel street exists which has been dedicated to public use and which paved or gravel street has been accepted for maintenance by the Town or by NCDOT. 

Mowing:  The cutting of grass or other similar ground covering vegetative material for the purpose of creating a neat, clean and uniform appearance of that material. 

Grounds Maintenance:  The raking of leaves and the removal of debris of any sort for the purpose of creating a neat and clean appearance 

Landscape Maintenance:  The pruning, clipping, shaping of ornamental shrubs or trees; the daily, weekly or monthly weed removal, watering, fertilizing, mulching or other special detailed attention given to annual or perennial flowers, bedding plants, shrubs, trees or other vegetative material.  This also includes the tasks outlined in grounds maintenance above. 

Major Thoroughfare:  A street which serves as a primary traffic artery of the urban area, serving the major centers of activity and carrying traffic between such centers at moderate speeds, as designated on the Town Thoroughfare Plan. 

Collector Street:  A street which penetrates various land use classifications and whose primary function is traffic service, collecting traffic from streets intersecting it and funneling it to major thoroughfares, as designated on the Town Thoroughfare Plan. 

Marginal Access Street:  A street which serves traffic generated by proximity land use which is other than residential. 

Residential Street:  A street whose primary function is to serve the immediately abutting residential land use, i.e., only local traffic generated by the residents in proximity of the street. 

Residential Loop Street:  A street which serves abutting residential land use and which terminates on the same street from which it originates.  

Cul-De-Sac:  A street which serves abutting land uses and which terminates in a turnaround and originates at the intersection with another street. 

Town Responsibilities 

The Town of Cary accepts responsibility for mowing and grounds maintenance only to those areas listed below: 

1.         Along major thoroughfares except in those areas that are regularly maintained by the NCDOT.  The Town may elect to maintain some of the NCDOT maintained rights of way, if the Town deems it in its best interest. 

2.         Traffic islands and median islands within the rights of way of major thoroughfares when such islands require only mowing and are not planted with shrubbery or other vegetation that require landscape maintenance and when such islands are not regularly maintained by NCDOT or some other organization or group.  The Town may elect to maintain some of the NCDOT maintained traffic islands or medians, if the Town deems it in its best interest.

3.         The Town of Cary may mow and perform certain grounds maintenance on street rights of way below the classification of major thoroughfare, if the Town deems it to be in its best interest.

The Town of Cary accepts no responsibility for the mowing, grounds maintenance or landscape maintenance for any traffic island or any median island on any street below the classification of “major thoroughfare” which intersects a major thoroughfare. 

Property Owners Responsibilities 

Within all parts of Cary, individual property owners are responsible for mowing and grounds maintenance of all areas between their property lines and the edge of the street.  These areas are to include from the edge of the pavement or from the back of the curb and gutter to the street right of way or the front, side or rear property line which is the same as the street right of way.  The individual property owner shall also mow and otherwise perform grounds maintenance upon any utility strip or planting strip that lies between the edge of the pavement or the back of the curb and gutter and the street edge of any sidewalk that runs parallel with the street. 

When the street right of way has been cleared to the property line, and that cleared street right of way area has been covered with grass or other similar ground cover, but the property fronting this street remains essentially undeveloped, whether that property is undisturbed woods, undisturbed former fields, or an area that has been graded, grassed and left fallow, the property owner has the responsibility to mow and perform grounds maintenance on the improved street right of way adjoining his property.  

All traffic islands or median islands on all collector streets, marginal access streets, residential streets, residential loop streets, and cul-de-sacs in subdivisions, shall be mowed and shall have grounds maintenance performed by the homeowners association of the subdivision in which they are located. 

Responsibilities Within Planned Unit Developments 

The individual property owners and the homeowners associations in all Planned Unit Developments (PUD) each have certain individual responsibilities and certain mutual responsibilities for mowing, grounds maintenance or landscape maintenance for all areas within the street rights of way. 

Individual property owners are responsible for mowing and grounds maintenance of all areas between their property lines and the edge of the street.  These areas include from the edge of the pavement or from the back of the curb and gutter to the street right of way or the front, side or rear property line that is contiguous with or the same as the street right of way.  The individual property owner shall also mow and otherwise perform grounds maintenance upon any utility strip or planting strip that lies between the edge of the pavement or the back of the curb and gutter and the street edge of any sidewalk that runs parallel with the street. 

The homeowners associations have the responsibility for mowing, grounds maintenance and landscape maintenance in all areas within their PUD that are within street rights of way that have been cleared and graded and covered with grass or other similar ground cover for erosion control purposes that are not maintained by individual property owners.  Those areas include street right of way areas which adjoin common area property, open space property and undeveloped property whether that property is undisturbed woods, undisturbed former fields, or areas that have been graded, grassed and left fallow. 

All traffic islands or median islands on all collector streets, marginal access streets, residential streets, residential loop streets, and cul-de-sacs, shall be mowed, shall have grounds maintenance, and shall have landscape maintenance performed by the homeowners association of the PUD in which they are located. 

When a PUD makes landscaping improvements along major thoroughfares, either in that area between the back of the curb and gutter and the street right of way or between the edge of pavement and the street right of way or in traffic islands or median islands along the major thoroughfare, which require grounds maintenance or landscape maintenance daily, weekly or monthly, those landscaped areas shall be maintained by the homeowners association of the planned unit development which installed them.