The plan to turn over streetside and roadside maintenance duties from the City to adjacent property owners, is positive in a number of ways but there is one major flaw: Adjacent property owners may …
The plan to turn over streetside and roadside maintenance duties from the City to adjacent property owners, is positive in a number of ways but there is one major flaw: Adjacent property owners may turn to toxic garden products to abate the types of weeds (and many others) mentioned in your March 8 article, “Port Townsend to shift right-of-way responsibilities to property owners.”
At present, with the city doing the maintenance the passersby, both human and canine, have not been casually and accidentally exposed to potentially harmful chemicals. The city was not spraying these locations but it can be assumed that some owners won’t observe that protocol.
Therefore, at minimum the new policy should address the issue of chemical use, which might include prohibited products along with signage at publicly accessed locations, such as “treated with herbicide May 15” or the like. The signage should stay in place for the maximum half-life of toxicity as noted on the product label. Or the city could provide a list of suggested products that “do no harm” to people, dogs, butterflies, or birds.
Still, it’s predictable that some property owners will honor this policy in the breach.
And some owners are absentee or seasonal, so they will automatically delegate the new chore in an expedient rather than caring way.
No one wants to unknowingly expose their dog to products that could harm health —nor carry into their own homes on the soles of their shoes.
The city needs to refine the new policy rather than just trust that this new approach will work for the environment and public health.