Weeds & Grass Compliance Process
Notifying the City of a Nuisance Violation
Routine inspections result in the majority of warning letters being issued to property owners. Inspections are also performed due to citizen complaints. After receiving a citizen’s complaint, a property nuisance abatement inspector views the problem area to determine if there is a violation.
Property Violation Determination
The City inspector will determine if the property is in violation. The property nuisance abatement inspector uses a special measuring device which is marked at 10 inches. If the weeds and grass are beyond the 10 inches mark, it is a violation. Photographs are taken of the violation.
Definition of Weeds
Weeds by ordinance are defined as all grasses, annual plants, and vegetation (other than trees or shrubs provided) beyond the 10 inches mark. However, this term doesn't include cultivated flowers and gardens, including native planting used for aesthetic or wildlife promotion, to attract and aid wildlife, to offset and control any soil loss problems either occurring or predicted, to promote stormwater infiltration into the soil, or promote transpiration of stormwater by plants.
If the City inspector determines that a violation has been found, two types of warning letters are issued:
- First-time notices are mailed to any property owner whose property is currently in violation but did not have any mowing violations in the previous year. This letter allows seven days from the date of the notice to mow all high weeds on the property.
- New weed season reminder notices are mailed in late April to all property owners who had at least one weed violation in the previous year.
In both cases, the letters serve as a warning for the entire year. If subsequent violations are observed after receiving either a reminder or first-time notice, the City will immediately enter upon the property and remove high weeds and grass.
Issuing of One-Time, Annual Written Notifications
The City will not notify a property owner every time a property is in violation. A property owner will receive only one written warning per parcel of land. This serves as a notice for the entire year.
Ordinance regarding nuisance and grass/weed violations can be viewed here.
Ignoring Warning Letters
In the event that a property owner fails to comply with the warning letter or if a weed violation is observed at any time during the growth season, the high grass and weeds will be cut by City crews at a cost to the property owner of $75 per man-hour, with a minimum charge of $100. Additionally, the owner may be served with a notice of violation directing them to appear before the administrative hearing officer. Penalties may range from:
- First violation within two years: $75
- Second violation within two years: $100
- Third violation within two years: $200
- Fourth and subsequent violations within two years: $400