Designing a landscape for your parkway can be especially challenging. Here are a few tips to help you comply with the City of Long Beach Municipal Code (Chapter 21.42)*, and at the same time make your parkway the most beautiful one in the neighborhood .
You must maintain an eighteen inch (18") wide strip of stable access on the street side of the parkway, allowing for foot-traffic parallel to the curb along the entire length of the parkway. Additionally, at least every six feet (6') along the length of the parkway, stable access from the curb to th e sidewalk must be provided by creating thirty-six inch (36") wide access path s. Within these access areas, all ground covers must be less than eight inches (8") high. One of our favorite parkway ground covers is Dymondia, a green-grey plant requiring little water which easily handles foot traffic. Permeable ground covers also work well and are the only nonliving materials allowed in the access paths. These include decomposed granite, inorganic and organic mulches. and modular paving units set on sand. If all of your ground cover is eight inches (8") or less, you do not need to provide defined pathways. A good way to think about these access areas is to design them to be stable and non-hazardous enough for people who may have a more difficult time navigating a narrow, unpaved surface.
In the six foot (6') sections between the access paths you can be more creative. Use colorful accent plants, rocks, and groundcovers. When choosing your plant materials for these sections, the maximum he ight for accent plants allowed on the parkway is thirty-two inches (32"). Decorative stone, wood, and other non-plant elements cannot be taller than eight inches (8").
The parkway area must be covered with at least 50% plant material to meet the City's requirements**, and all street trees must be approved by the City.
* These tips are not intended to be fu lly inclusive. Please read and understand the City's ordinance in its entirety and know your responsibility.
** The LBWD Lawn-to-Garden program requires that 65% of the entire landscape be covered with plant material , once the plants have matured.