City of London, Building Division

GUIDELINE FOR NATURALIZED AREAS & WILDFLOWER MEADOWS

Expectations

Under the Clearing of Land By-law the City sets out certain community standards to ensure that:

·      grass and weeds do not exceed 8" in height

·      no keeping of waste on a property except in containers

·      no excess fill

·      no accumulation of water (more than 12")

·      no derelict vehicles

·      no noxious weeds (Noxious Weed Act)

Compliance With By-law

City of London permits naturalized areas and wildflower meadows provided they are approved by City Council and provided there are no noxious weeds, and provided you provide at least 0.9 m (36") buffer strip abutting another property.

A naturalized area means a portion of a lot where a lawn or perennial garden previously maintained by the owner which has been allowed to re-establish a reproducing population of native species, through a combination of natural regeneration and deliberate plantings of species or other species to emulate a natural area.

A wildflower meadow means a specialized habitat within a naturalized area, which is dominated by native species of flowers and grasses. The area would require periodic mowing (once or twice per year) in order to prevent the growth and establishment of woody shrubs and trees.

Both wildflower meadows and naturalized areas require a 0.9 m (36") buffer strip from your neighbour’s property.

A perennial garden is permitted under the By-law and includes an area deliberately implemented to produce ground cover, including wildflowers, shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses.

Noxious Weed Act

There are 23 noxious weeds regulated by this act.

The primary objective of this Act is to prevent the spread of noxious weeds and their seeds. It is important to prevent weeds such as poison ivy and ragweed from growing in view of health issues

Complaints

In 1997, the City responded to approximately 1100 complaints pertaining to tall grass, weeds and waste.

Generally these complaints are inspected within three weeks. Violators are given notice to clean or clear their property within several weeks. If the violator does not resolve the problem, the City may clean or clear the land and add the cost to the tax roll along with an administration fee.

The violator may be ticketed for the offense.

Approval by Council

Provided there is no domestic or industrial  waste; no ponding; no excess fill; and no noxious weeds, you may within 72 hours of receiving a notice of violation may apply to the Manager of By-law Enforcement, 7th Floor, City Hall. The Manager will prepare a report to the Environment and Transportation Committee (E.T.C).

Your letter should indicate the types of plants you are growing; the goals and objectives of your garden.

Staff will prepare a report to E.T.C. for their recommendation for approval or refusal to City Council. At E.T.C., you will be given opportunity to explain your naturalized garden or wildflower meadow to the Committee. The Committee will make a recommendation.

If Council approves it, you will be permitted to maintain it. If Council refuses it, you will be required to bring your yard into conformity with the By-law.

Contacts at City Hall

Clerk’s Office, 3rd floor 661 - 4530

By-law Enforcement, 7th floor 661 - 4660

List of Common Names of Noxious Weeds

·      Barberry, common

·      Buckhorn, European

·      Carrot, wild (also known as Queen Anne’s Lace)

·      Colt’s foot Dodder spp.

·      Goat’s Beard spp.

·      Hemlock poison

·      Johnson grass

·      Knapweed spp.

·      Milkweed spp.

·      Poison-ivy

·      Proso millet, black-seeded

·      Ragweed spp.

·      Rocket yellow

·      Sow-thistle, annual, perennial

·      Spurge, Cypress

·      Spurge, leafy

·      Thistle, bull

·      Thistle, Canada

·      Thistle, nodding, spp.

·      Thistle, Russian

·      Thistle Scotch

·      Vetchling tuberous

·      Golden rod