For the first time since 1978, Madison has updated its ordinances related to “natural lawns”, which will now be called “natural landscapes”.
The new ordinance can be summarized as follows:
- Grass in residential yards may not exceed eight inches in height.
- Grass in residential yards may exceed eight inches in height, if the property owner obtains a permit.
- Grass in residential yards may exceed eight inches in height without a permit, if the area containing the tall grass only occupies a certain limited percentage of the yard, and if this area is a certain distance from the property lines, and if the tall grass is a species found on a brief list included in the ordinance.
The ordinance can be read here.
City officials hope that this will make it easier to have a natural yard in Madison, and plan to continue working on ways to encourage gardening practices that are friendly to pollinators and the environment.