One of my neighbors who just spent a pretty penny to landscape her small front and back yards tells me that our borough administration wouldn't give her a permit to fill all the space in front with artfully arranged perennials.
"The part that belongs to the city had to be grass," the clerk told her when she went in to get the okay for her project, which involved some excavation. "We don't want people to claim damages if we have to go in and do work on the public land."
She said she'd sign something, agreeing not to do that were repairs needed on the gas, sewer and water lines which come in the front. But no dice, despite the fact that grass is hard to grow under our street trees, and a good half of the residents have switched over to some other sort of planting. In fact the houses with the worst looking front yards are those where people have tried to grow grass and given up, to let it brown or grow too long.
"The next battle?" I asked her, who has been instrumental in various struggles involving the neighbors and the city.
She shrugged. Seems before she left someone, whose function and name will remain obscure, whispered that she probably wouldn't get a fine if she planted all the way to the sidewalk! Maybe there's some sense in city hall, after all.