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May BOCC Focus: Landscaping

Kentlands is a walking paradise with sidewalks, lake trails and an adjacent commercial district.  Now that the warmer weather and longer days have arrived, it’s time to address the exterior areas on your property to ensure that you are in not only in compliance, but also to ensure that those walking areas remain the paradise we all enjoy.

Front and side yards, not improved with a hard surface, or any portions that are visible from the street need to be maintained with grass or other vegetation.  If bare earth is exposed, it needs to be covered to prevent soil erosion. Grass areas need to be kept as weed-free as possible and mowed during the growing season so it does not exceed six inches in height. Spring is also a good time to clear out remaining dead leaves and vegetation from under shrubs, and to refresh the ground cover. The most common ground cover is mulch, but there are many plants that serve as ground cover as well.

Hedges, trees, flowers and shrubs should be trimmed and pruned regularly to avoid an unkempt appearance, public safety hazard or interference with the use of community sidewalks and common areas.  Overhanging and encroaching vegetation can scratch the pedestrian or force them to step out into the street, both detrimental to use of the sidewalks for walking, jogging or stroller-pushing. Dead trees and shrubs need to be removed, and if part of a hedge, replaced.  Before removal of any tree, be sure to review the information and guidance posted on City of Gaithersburg website,, as a Tree Removal Permit may be required.

As a reminder, review the Visual Change Application guidelines to determine if approval is required before making exterior changes to material, design or color of your property, including landscaping. If you are not sure whether a Visual Change Application (VCA) is required, or if you have any questions about the VCA process, please contact Katie Mell, Assistant Manager, at  or 301-948-2071. Visual Change Applications are available at the Clubhouse and at

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