The use of decorative boulders and other lawn ornaments bordering private residences is becoming an increasing problem, according to the Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell, who said the town may consider a policy on limiting such decorations.
Boulders, plants and wooden borders often encroach on the public right of way, creating a nuisance for drivers and town maintenance vehicles responsible for cleaning streets and plowing snow, he said.
Two of the biggest problems are corner plantings that obstruct views and sprinklers systems close to the street, which interfere with snow and debris removal, town officials said.
“A lot of it is ignorance,” said Highway Superintendent Pete Harris. “They feel that because the grass goes to the edge of the pavement, it’s theirs. The town has the right of way on both sides of the road. You, as a homeowner, maintain it, but it doesn’t give you the right to put hardened structures on it.”
Mr. Russell said that complaints are on the rise, but correcting the obstructions will be challenging.
“If you go through the town most people have something in the public right of way,” he said. “To go out and make everybody remove everything from the public right away is insurmountable and not going to happen.”
Mr. Russell said the board would consider adopting policy to help limit such encroachments.