Thank you for your input with the development of the draft Nature Strip Guidelines development.

Council Decision on Nature Strip Guidelines

On 3 August 2022, Council endorsed adopted the Nature Strip Guidelines with the following proposal:

1.1 To present the Nature Strip Guidelines to Councillors for endorsement and adoption, following community engagement.

3.1 Thanks the community for providing feedback on the development of the Nature Strip Guidelines.

3.2 Notes that the amendments to the guidelines provide clearer guidance to the community regarding planting on nature strips and increase options for planting while considering safety and access requirements.

3.3 Notes that the Guidelines apply to gardens which are planted after adoption, modifications to current nature strip gardens will only be requested if safety or access concerns are raised.

3.4 Notes that no permits or approvals are required if gardens are planted in line with these guidelines. Council officers are available to discuss requirements for other forms of planting in public space which these guidelines do not cover.

3.5 Notes that the website will be updated to include further information on gardening within public space.

3.6 Endorses and adopts the updated Nature Strip Guidelines 2022-24 (Attachment 1). with the following amendments:

a. Additional definitions for nature strip planting, low ground cover, natural gardening, offsets, key Boulevards and indigenous plants to be included.

b. Restricts planting within 50cm or 3 times the trunk diameter (whichever is larger) around trees. This does not apply to trees within tree plots.

c. Planting can occur within tree plots keeping plants 30cm away from the tree trunk and below 50cm in height, all other requirements will apply. Recommend the use of tube stock, hand tools and limit digging.

d. Access from the kerb to the footpath should be a minimum of 0.6m up to 1.2m to enable safe and accessible passage.

e. Remove the reference to Heritage Overlay and update to include a requirement to contact Council before planting nature strips on key Boulevards.

f. Retain the 1.5m exclusion around fire hydrants.

g. Provide a minimum of 30cm offset from storm water pits, service pits, service pillars and power poles. (Note- planting may be disturbed by utility companies when accessing utility sites).

h. Add further explanation around kerb and parking restrictions. These are in place to allow for safe and accessible access from the road to the footpath from car parking bays.

3.7 Notes that nature strip gardening and street gardening are vital to a Sustainable and Liveable Port Phillip, and further opportunities for street gardening and de-paving will be provided through the update of the Greening Port Phillip Strategy.

3.8 Notes that minor wording changes and updates to relevant diagrams will be made in line with these amendments within the Nature Strip Guidelines.

3.9 Authorises the Chief Executive Officer to make minor editorial updates to the adopted guidelines, if required in line with the amendments.

3.10 Directs the Chief Executive Officer to undertake a review of Gardens for Wildlife as part of Greening Port Philip Strategy and report back to Council.

The Council Minutes are available to view here.

The Nature Strip Guidelines was considered by Councillors at a Council Meeting on 3 August 2022.

The report will be available from Friday on our website. . Here is the link - Council meetings - City of Port Phillip

Greening Port Phillip - Council's Urban Forest Strategy

Nature strips are a small part of our urban forest. We will soon be commencing work to update Greening Port Phillip, Council’s Urban Forest Strategy, which will provide opportunities for the community to have their say about how we grow and manage Port Phillip’s urban forest.

We are also working to map opportunities for de-paving to create more permeable surfaces and space for nature strip gardening.

Keep an eye out on Divercity for details.

Register to attend the in-person community consultation

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Jennifer Witheridge

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