The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in th Continental United States

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Residents' Responsibility

The summer rains are making this island’s greenery a little shaggy with overgrown trees and plantings around the island. The City of Key West would like to remind property owners that they are responsible for the vegetation adjoining public streets and sidewalks.

According to the City’s code of ordinances, it is the duty of the property owner to ensure that trees and other plants do not obstruct street lights, the passage of pedestrians on sidewalks, rights-of-way, roadways, or block the view of traffic signs. Vegetation must also be kept clear from obstructing intersections and power lines.

All landscaping must be trimmed at least 80 inches above a walking surface and a minimum width of 36 inches for clear passage, or the width of the sidewalk.

State and federal regulations require clear access of seven feet in height over a sidewalk and 14 feet over roadway.

This means that, if your tree is extending beyond your property line and is hanging lower that 14 feet over the road, it’s up to you to get it trimmed. But do it with the help of an arborist, as City code also requires that the tree be maintained as a whole. Uneven trimming that threatens the health of a tree is also a violation of City code.

So if your bougainvillea is poking through your fence and impeding passage on the sidewalk, or your palm fronds are waving in front of a stop sign, get out and trim them – for the safety of your community. It’s the law.