Have you ever wondered whose responsibility it is to maintain a clean right of way?

The short answer is that property owners are responsible for maintaining all vegetation up to the curb.

That means if you or your neighbor has tree branches covering a street sign or a bush obstructing a sidewalk, it’s the responsibility of the property owner to cut back the overgrown vegetation to maintain a clear right of way.

For San Marcos businesses, the responsibility to maintain a clean right of way falls on the owner, including sidewalks and public alleyways, which must remain clear of any obstruction such as trash and other debris, that is in front of the business or may have come from the businesses dumpster.

The City of San Marcos becomes involved when Code Compliance staff receives a complaint about a right of way being obstructed by overgrowth or debris.

Staff will go on scene to assess the complaint and give a violation warning, if applicable. The property owner will have three days to respond asking for cleanup assistance or acknowledging that the violation will get taken care of in adequate time.

If staff do not receive a response after the initial warning, an official violation will be given, and the property owner will have 10 days to clear the obstruction.

If property owners do not clear the right of way after receiving two notifications of violating Chapter 74 of the Streets and Sidewalks Ordinance, fines are distributed.

“The last thing we want to do is hand out fines to residents not keeping right of ways clear of any debris,” said Environmental Health and Safety Manager Shanna O’Brien. “We depend on our community to help ensure San Marcos continues to be beautiful, but we’re still here to help where we can.”

The city understands it isn’t easy for everyone to maintain vegetation overgrowth due to not having the proper tools – that’s where we come in!

The City of San Marcos offers residents the opportunity to rent equipment kits through the Home Equipment Lending Program (HELP) to assist with improvement projects. Kits include tree trimming, curb painting, fence staining, and power washing. If you’re in need of borrowing a lawn mower, please reach out to Code Compliance at 512-393-8478.

Other resources are available to residents including the Monthly Brush Drop-Off Event that takes place every second Saturday of each month.

San Marcos residential garbage customers are welcome to drop-off brush trimmings, tree branches and stumps, leaves, grass clippings, and other acceptable plant materials for free. The vegetation is later recycled and turned into mulch for residents to pick up for free during Brush Drop-Off hours.