Safety Hazards

Encroachment from Private Property

Did you know that allowing shrubs and trees to grow into the sidewalks or roadways can be a safety hazard? If shrubs and trees on private property are not maintained properly, it creates a dangerous environment for pedestrians and vehicular traffic.

The City of Winchester does not currently have an ordinance in place that requires plants to be pruned to property boundaries, but is in the process of facilitating such ordinance.

Currently, the City’s Zoning Ordinance, section 18-15, prohibits obstructions in the city right of way on a corner property lot and if the tree or plant obstructs the view of vehicular traffic.

The City asks that private property owners be mindful of the plants and trees on their property. If they begin to encroach on the sidewalks or right of ways, please prune or remove them to alleviate any safety concerns.

Example of Overgrown Shrubbery

Overgrown shrub before   Overgrown shrub after pruning

LEFT: At the above location, the shrubs have grown from the private property into the sidewalk, thus creating an unsafe area for pedestrians to navigate. Pedestrians would have to either push through the plants, walk out and around the vehicles parked along the street and into the roadway, or choose an alternate path. RIGHT: The shrubs have been trimmed to allow for pedestrian traffic to pass safely.

​Michael Neese
Interim Arborist
1001 East Cork Street
Winchester, VA 22601
(540) 662-4946, ext. 1452