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Thread: Front yard setbacks or more right-of-way?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Streck's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Southeast US
    Posts
    530

    Front yard setbacks or more right-of-way?

    I have noticed a trend toward support of Zero Front Yard Setbacks on Cyburbia commentators.

    Observation - many on this board propose "building out to the sidewalk." They then also admit if this is done, there is a need for street trees.

    Question - What are the advantages and disadvantages for city inclusion of sufficient space in its ROW to allow for street trees, or should the city stay with requiring Setbacks for space for owner option tree types and locations?

    Please address city tree maintenance cost/responsibility/liability, sidewalk/tree locations, utility conflicts and utility replacement in areas with mature street trees.

    Please also address building height to total ROW open space recommendations (maybe as a ratio?).

    It is ok to address one aspect at a time if you want.

  2. #2
         
    Registered
    Oct 2004
    Location
    N. Illinois
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    Are sidewalks planned on this thorofare? If so, I'd recommend putting the trees into the ROW. This way, it offers somewhat of a barrier between the sidewalk and passing cars. Homeowners probably won't want the public sidewalks taking up part of their lots.

    Another thing to consider is tree maintenance. If the trees are mandated into the setbacks, then the burden of maintenance and care falls onto the homeowner. If the trees go into the ROW, then it would be the municipality's job, right? Or would it fall under the same convention as homeowners shoveling the city sidewalks, and the homeowners would be responsible for tree care anyway? If the maintenance falls to the homeowner, you could end up with dangerously overgrown or unhealthy trees, which would make the street seem unkempt, along with the other connotations of that. If it falls to the municipality, then it uses municipal money. Trade-offs, always.

    As for utilities - not sure exactly. I suppose you could select trees with root systems less likely to compromise utility lines.

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