Residents Encouraged to Take Note of Parking Strip Landscaping Ordinance If Establishing Spring Plants

A City ordinance updated in 2016 allows for additional flexibility in plantings in parking strips while preserving the functionality of the public right-of-way. Plantings are encouraged in the parking strip as long as they are maintained to create safe visual site lines for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists.

The ordinance allows turf or native grasses; City-approved street trees; annual, biennial, or perennial plants; cultivated flowers; wildflowers; and fruits and vegetables. To maintain the safety of the right-of-way, some restrictions apply. Those include:

• Plants must be maintained at a height of no more than 36 inches from the top of the curb.
• Neither plants with thorns, spines, or other sharp rigid parts, nor evergreen or deciduous shrubs are allowed.
• Plant material may not overhang or encroach onto the sidewalk.
• Wood mulch may be used only on a limited basis around plantings as a water conservation measure.
• Turf grass must be maintained at a height of no more than 8 inches.
• Boulders and structural encroachments like retaining walls, fences, and steps are prohibited.
• Landscaping pavers, edging, and nominal-size rock mulch may be used in up to one quarter (1/4) of the parking strip, but can’t spill onto the street or sidewalk.
• “Street” trees may be planted on the right-of-way, but the tree must be a species or variety approved and listed by the Forestry Division of Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation, and the tree must be pruned and trimmed per City ordinance and guidelines.

The ordinance was phased in to allow adequate time for property owners to make changes. In 2016, the City worked to educate residents. In 2017, properties out of compliance with the ordinance began receiving warnings, and this year the ordinance will be enforced. Properties out of compliance could be asked to remove items and may receive citations.

Be a good neighbor and keep your lawn looking sharp this summer! City ordinance requires that lawns be kept shorter than 8 inches in height and noxious weeds be controlled. Residents are encouraged to report potential nuisance vegetation violations by calling the “Lawn Enforcement Hotline” at 978-6900 during normal business hours, or leave a voice message after hours or on weekends. More information is available at