These guidelines have been developed to inform residents of
their obligations and the conditions associated with undertaking
plantings within the road verge, on Council controlled roads. Residents are required to fully comply with the guidelines in
creating a new verge garden.
Council acknowledges that verge gardens exist which pre-date the guidelines. It is not intended to require these verge gardens to comply with the guidelines unless public safety and pedestrian access issues are raised with Council.
These guidelines are designed to ensure that all plantings by the community within the road
verge are managed in a safe, efficient manner and maintained to an
acceptable standard, to standardise processes and procedures for the development of community plantings within the road verge and clarify the rights and responsibilities of all stakeholders
involved in community plantings within the road verge.
The road verge forms part of the road reserve between the kerb
and the front property boundary and is controlled and managed by
It also provides a suitable space for:
- Public utilities such as power, water, gas and
telecommunications services, and
- Essential services such as bus
What can I do?
The owner/occupier of the property may landscape parts
of the road verge immediately fronting their property,
provided that the works meet with these guidelines.
Works that do not meet these guidelines cannot be
It is the owner/occupier's responsibility to maintain garden
areas constructed within the verge and to preserve a safe verge
environment for pedestrians and road users. Council has a
duty of care to ensure the verges are compliant with the relevant
legislation, policies and guidelines for the safety of the
What is appropriate treatment?
Council supports the installation and maintenance of soft, water
wise landscaping on the verge to create a safe and aesthetically
pleasing environment. Soft landscaping includes grass (drought
tolerant varieties are preferred), ground cover, low shrubs and
vegetable gardens. Water wise plants are those that are
drought tolerant and have a reduced need for fertilizer. In
addition, local native plants can provide a usable habitat for
birds, small reptiles and insects, and increase biodiversity within
The installation of pavements on street verges is actively
discouraged due to increased stormwater runoff and limited visual
The landscape design must not create any undue hazards to road
users or pedestrians. Plants should not interfere with driver
or pedestrian sightlines, must be maintained to less than 0.75
metres in height and should not encroach onto footpaths or
roadways. The planting of local native plants is encouraged
due to their tolerance to harsh, dry conditions and their minimal
requirement for fertilizer.
Where a concrete footpath is constructed across the frontage of
the property a minimum distance of 0.75 metres immediately adjacent
to the kerb, must be kept clear to allow for:
- Passengers to safely alight from any vehicle parked on the
- To prevent damage to vehicle doors opening out over the kerb
- To allow space for bin collection
Where a concrete footpath is not constructed across the frontage
of the property a minimum distance of 2.0 metres immediately
adjacent to the kerb, must be kept clear to also allow for
Ideally the pedestrian thoroughfare would remain grassed.
Where street trees occur in this space, organic, seasoned,
large particle mulch, such as wood chips is considered an
acceptable option. Mulch is to be replenished as required and
grass is to be regularly cut to ensure that pedestrian areas are
maintained to a suitably safe standard.
The placement of the following objects and/or barriers are not
permitted within the road verge:
- concrete slabs
- the use of artificial grass
- loose inorganic materials greater than 5mm in size
- reticulation control boxes
- garden ornaments
- plants with sharp spikes or thorns
- garden stakes
Plants with thorns and spikes include, but are not limited to,
roses with thorny stems, yuccas, cacti, and agaves.
Weed species are not permitted within the road verge. For
information on plants considered weeds in the Moreton Bay region see Queensland Government - invasive plants
Vegetable gardens may be permitted if the vegetation does not
exceed 0.75 metres in height, the ground is not raised and remains
reasonably level, and stakes or fences are not used. Root
vegetables and herbs are particularly suitable for verge vegetable
gardens. Plants such as chillies which could be hazardous to
children if ingested, are not permitted.
Your verge boundary
The resident must notify their neighbours about any proposed
verge treatment works and agree on the location of the boundary
between their adjacent verges.
Safety on your verge
Temporary barricades for the purpose of establishing verge
landscaping are acceptable provided that the materials used do not
create a hazard and are identified with sufficient numbers of
reflective markers to ensure the safety of pedestrians.
Barriers must not be erected across pedestrian access
The level and grade of the verge, and between adjoining verges,
is to remain consistent and free of barriers, trip hazards,
excessive undulations, mounds, holes, depressions, ridges and
terraces. Edgings and dividers are permitted only to the
extent required to provide sufficient division, and provided that
they are flush with the verge surface.
Access to your verge
Adequate access to the property letterbox for delivery by
Australia Post must be provided, and a suitable location is to be
provided on the verge in front of the property and immediately
behind the kerb line for weekly collection of rubbish bins.
Roads and traffic
For safety, verge gardens can only be constructed on Council
managed roads that are either low traffic roads or roads where
kerbside parking is permitted. Verge gardens are not
permitted on roads under the jurisdiction of the Department of
Transport and Main Roads (TMR). Council can provide advice on
whether a road is suitable for development of a verge garden, if
When working on your verge planting, be aware that you are
working in a public place so keep an eye out for other verge users
including passing cars, bicycles and pedestrians.
Make sure the height and width of your planting and associated
infrastructure is not going to obstruct sight lines for
pedestrians, cyclists and cars.
If planting placements are considered to be a problem, Council
will notify the resident and require the area to be appropriately
rectified or removed. If this notice is not complied with, Council
will remove any offending structure. In the event of such removal,
Council will not be responsible for the reinstatement or cost of
items removed, and Council will recover the cost of removing and
disposing of materials.
Tips before you start
- Try to use native or water-wise plants and organic products
- Consider watering by hand with collected rainwater or recycled
water (irrigation systems are not permitted) and mulch to retain
- As verge gardens are located on public footways, the Council
cannot take responsibility for any damage to gardens or their
- You are responsible for maintaining your garden and keeping it
safe, clean, healthy and attractive. Council officers may
issue clean-up notices to residents or businesses who fail to
maintain verge gardens in a safe and satisfactory condition.
- Stay sun safe while you garden.
- Contact Dial Before You Dig to help locate any underground
services on 1100.com.au or call 1100.
A good example of how a
verge planting should be maintained. It is compliant because
it maintains a minimum 2.0 metre clear area adjacent to the kerb
for vehicle access and still allows pedestrian access to the
mailbox and across the verge.
Conflict resolution and complaints procedure
Verge plantings should be visually pleasing and aim to promote
local harmony and acceptance by neighbours. However, it is
possible that conflicts may sometimes arise. In the event of
a conflict arising, measures should be taken immediately to seek
Where specific concerns are raised about a verge garden or
plantings that pre-date Council endorsement of the guidelines,
Council's Manager Asset Maintenance, in consultation with the
relevant Divisional Councillor, will inspect the site and determine
on a case-by-case basis works necessary to modify the existing
Circumstances may arise where Council directs a resident to modify
their verge garden within a specified period of time. If the
resident fails to undertake the work, Council reserves the right to
undertake the work and may seek to recover costs associated with
completing the work where justifiable
Constructing a verge garden
The important question to be asked is; “Will my verge garden comply with all of the requirements of this guideline?”
If you answer ‘yes’ then complete the following checklist and submit to Council. Please note that all responses to the checklist questions should be ‘yes’ for your proposal to comply.
Once you have submitted the checklist, with an accompanying sketch of your proposed verge garden, you may commence construction.
Complete the checklist for new community plantings within the road verge .