Residential landscaping creating hazards in Nebraska

By Kristin Smith-Ely

Landscapes being blamed for deteriorating roads in Lancaster County.

Landscaping extending into roads is causing problems in Lancaster County, Nebraska, according to an Associated Press article. One property in particular was recently purchased with a koi pond in the front yard that extends onto a county road, saturating the pavement.

A county attorney reportedly is sending a letter to the property owner who rejected filling in the newly extended pond that extends to the right-of-way. The county may have to remove it if the homeowner does not oblige.

The article says that while the sidewalk is often regarded as the dividing line in the city, the county right of way extends to the homeowners’ property line, often beyond the sidewalk into the front lawn. In Lancaster County that right of way is 33 feet to 60 feed on either side of the middle of the road, usually extending beyond the roadside ditch.

Typically county officials have only allowed mailboxes be placed in that area for safety considerations and to preserve the road.

If a homeowner refuses to remove anything that is an obstacle or a hazard, then county staff resorts to official action, but says it tries to work with the homeowner first.