Residents' Responsibility

The summer rains are making this island's greenery a little shaggy, with overgrown trees and plantings around the island.  The City of Key West wants to remind property owners that they are responsible for the vegetation adjoining public streets and sidewalks.

City's Code of Ordinances

It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure that trees and other plants do not:

  • Block the view of traffic signs
  • Obstruct street lights
  • Obstruct the passage of pedestrians on a sidewalk
  • Obstruct Rights-of-way
  • Obstruct Roadways


Vegetation must be kept clear from obstructing intersections and power lines.  All landscaping must be trimmed at least 80 inches above a walking surface and a minimum width of 36 inches for clear passage or sidewalk width.


State and Federal regulations require clear access of seven (7) feet in height over a sidewalk and fourteen (14) feet over a roadway.  For example, if your tree extends beyond your property line and is hanging lower than fourteen (14) feet over the street, it is up to you to have it trimmed.  Call an arborist, as City code requires the tree to be maintained as a whole.  Uneven trimming that threatens the health of a tree is also a violation of the City code.

So if your bougainvillea is poking through your fence and impeding passage on the sidewalk, or your palm fronds are waving in front of a stop sign, get out and trim them - for the safety of your community.