The overgrown tendrils of some Larchmont resident’s shrubbery have been snaking into intersections around the village, causing a potentially hazardous obstruction to vehicles attempting to navigate the area.
After the Department of Public Works (DPW) alerted the mayor to the numerous areas in the village where tangled shrubbery conflicted with preexisting statutes earlier this summer, the village decided to send out so-called “shrubbery letters,” requesting residents to trim their feral branches.
“They went off to the races and they came back with over 260 addresses with photographs,” said Mayor Anne McAndrews at Tuesday's board meeting, referring to the DPW’s data collection process.
One statute that the letter references is Village Code Section 245-14-Vegetation at Intersections, which states that any vegetation (except tree trunks) within a 20’ sight triangle from the curb between 30-60” above the street pavement edge must be removed. The other statute, Section 215-10-Property Maintenance – Landscaping Required, stipulates that, “Premises shall be kept landscaped, and lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and from becoming overgrown and unsightly where exposed to public view and where the same constitute a blighting factor depreciating adjoining property and impairing the good residential character of the neighborhood.”
Despite the concerted effort by village officials to enforce the code without issuing violations, the response from homeowners has been mixed.
“We’ve had an interesting response,” said McAndrews, continuing, “We know there has been some positive feedback and there has been some confusion…some asserting that it couldn’t possibly be their shrubs.”
Nevertheless, the village asserts that this is a matter of public safety and must be addressed to prevent future accidents.