Many Seattle residents are beautifying their streets by planting flowers, shrubs, and trees in the planting (or “parking”) strip in front of their property, between the sidewalk and street. The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) encourages this, but requires a free permit for raised beds (or any structure) and tree planting, to insure that sightlines and public safety are considered. Rules and guidelines for the planting strip can be found here.
Growing food is another option in the planting strip: vegetables or berries – SDOT prohibits fruit trees because of the slipping hazard for pedestrians from fallen fruit. For some residents, it’s their only sunny area to grow vegetables. But the planting strip is a public space, part of the public right-of-way, so there may be concerns with the soil, and whether it can be reached with a water hose. Hoses should never be left lying across the sidewalk or public right-of-way due to tripping hazard.
This spring Alessandro and Dimitriy of LaPasta at 9118 35th Ave NE are leading out with their first planting strip, the site of a future wheat field (according to the sign!) Visit LaPasta to cheer them on, and you can also inquire about summer jobs selling LaPasta at Farmer’s Markets; call 349-8576.