Mitigation Strategies & Maintenance

Open Space is defined as: Protected lands of significant value include those that are conserved in their natural state, restored, or improved, with appropriate native landscaping, to retain a natural or natural appearing condition, or to conserve quality agriculture.

In addition to parks, recreation, and trails, open space should be seen as a means to help direct growth, maintain rural character, and provide opportunities for education, wildlife protection and observation, hiking, and other passive and recreation activities for existing and future Erie residents. As such, our Parks Division has several strategies in place to maintain and protect the integrity of our open space and natural resource areas. 

  1. Encroachment
  2. wildfire mitigation
  3. Mowing

Know Your Property Line

The Park & Recreation Department seeks to be a good neighbor to adjacent property owners and at the same time protect Town-owned and maintained properties from encroachment. Procedures are in place to guard against encroachment, and per the Town of Erie Municipal Code 7-6-5 the following are prohibited from occurring beyond your property line:

Access: It is not permitted to access your property through Town open space property. Creating walkways beyond your fence line or removing Town fencing along the landscaping is prohibited.

Dumping: Discarding grass clippings, sod, soil, yard waste, trash, debris, landscape materials, and dog waste over your backyard fence is harmful to the open space. This also includes general trash and debris accumulation.

Extended Landscaping: Irrigation, planting, gardening, residential mowing, dog houses, timber walls, and structural supports for private property improvements located are to be contained within your backyard. 

Motor Vehicle Operation: The operation of any motorized vehicle or equipment such as trucks, electric/gas scooters, and skid steers on or through parks and open space property is not allowed.

Recreation: Recreational items such as playgrounds, trampolines, horseshoe pits, tree houses, rope swings, and bird feeders.

Storage: Personal items such as landscape materials, lawnmowers, wood, and utility trailers, including structures (sheds, fences, raised garden beds, weather stations) are to be stored solely on private property.

Procedures Against Encroachment

Department staff routinely survey adjacent properties and investigate resident complaints to identify any encroachments onto Town-owned and maintained properties.

Department staff will document encroachment issues including date identified, adjacent property address, nature of encroachment, mitigation actions necessary, and photo-document the encroachment.

For minor encroachments, the Parks & Open Space Division Manager, or their designee, will notify the property owner of the encroachment violation by mail. Notification will include description of the encroachment violation, mitigation actions that need to be taken, and date that encroachment needs to be mitigated (14 days). The procedure for major encroachments will be implemented if the property owner does not mitigate the violation within the allotted deadline.

For major encroachments, the Parks & Open Space Division Manager, or designee, will contact and forward the encroachment violation to the Code Enforcement Officer to make contact with the property owner and oversee the mitigation of the encroachment violation. Information to be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer will include the date identified, adjacent property address, nature of encroachment, mitigation actions necessary, and photo-documentation of the encroachment. Department staff will provide technical assistance to the Code Enforcement Officer upon request.

All minor and major encroachments issues and will be filed for future reference.