With warmer weather comes grass and weeds. If left unchecked, tall grass and weeds become a nuisance. Here is some information on the City’s ordinance and policies.
May 1 through October 31 of each year notices will be sent out by the Health Department if your property is found to be in excess of 8 inches in height and abated if not brought into compliance within the time frames given. The property owner is responsible for all costs incurred, including administrative fees.
View the Ordinance:
What is wrong with tall grass?
Besides being unsightly, tall grass and weeds contribute to an unkempt look and feel to your neighborhood. Tall grass can harbor trash and hazards which can be dangerous to neighborhood occupants and children. It can also become home for vermin, nuisance insects, and other undesirable animals, as pests are more comfortable in these overgrown conditions. A highly overgrown lot also becomes very dry in the heat of summer and is a potential fire hazard.
In addition; allowing weeds to mature also increases their ability to spread to neighboring properties, causing undue expense for those property owners, and unmaintained properties are a potential invitation to crime. Therefore, City Code requires that tall grass and weeds be regularly maintained.
Public right-of-ways, Boulevards and Traffic Vision Obstructions
Please note that no shrubbery or other vegetation may obstruct movement or vision on City streets, sidewalks or alleys. Maintenance of vegetation on public right-of-way boulevards or parkway strips is the responsibility of the adjacent owner / occupant.
The only notification that the city is required to give property owners is the notice (PDF) that is printed in a newspaper of general circulation in the city prior to the start of the season. However, courtesy notices are generally sent to give property owners the opportunity to comply without penalty and to help reduce program expenses.
If a property appears to be in violation during an inspection a Courtesy Notice is sent out to the property owner listed in the County's Tax Records. They are given 7 days from the date the notice is mailed out to comply or contact us for an extension. On average over 400 courtesy notices are sent out every season.
Most Courtesy Notices sent out are due to routine city inspections that find properties in or near violation of the city's ordinance. Routine inspections are meant to be quick and done while driving on streets and thoroughfares - no measurements are generally taken. If we can't see it from the the main street, a notice is unlikely to be sent out unless we were investigating another complaint.
Although city-wide inspections are made several times a year, if you have a property in your neighborhood you feel we may have missed, please contact us - include the address if leaving a message to expedite the process. Citizen complaints are helpful with portions of the yard or alley that are not visible from the main street. However, if we can't see it from public areas we will need permission to come onto your property.
At the follow-up inspection, if the nuisance has been taken care of the file is closed - no penalties or fines will incur. If it has not been mowed and vegetation exceeds 8 inches, measurement tools are used to verify the violation, photos are used for documentation and a mow order is issued. The file then moves to the abatement/penalties phase of the process.
Once a mow order is issued properties are mowed as soon as time and weather permit. Our contractor documents that the property is still in violation upon arrival and then documents the abatement process when completed. Property owners are later invoiced by the city.
Mowing Charge: $85.00 per man hour, minimum of $85.00
Brush/Refuse Pickup: $50.00 per truckload per type
Administrative Fee: $70.00 per parcel per occurrence
Ordinance Penalty: $25.00 per occurrence
Properties with valid addresses will be invoiced. Owners have 28 calendar days to pay. Appeals must be made by the owner, in writing within 30 days. They must fill out this Nuisance Abatement Appeal Form (PDF).
Bills unpaid 28 days after the invoice date can be assessed against the property. The city does this by placing a lien on the parcel with the County Recorder's office. Additional fees incur when this happens. Liens are not released until paid in full.
Habitual nuisance properties and property owners with unpaid bills/liens may be required to appear in front of a hearing officer. Outstanding bills/liens must be paid in full ten (10) days prior to your hearing to avoid additional court costs and fines that range from $100 - $300 per occurrence.
Is my property scheduled to be mowed or has it been already?
At this time, the best thing you can do is contact the Health Officer if you have questions.
Outstanding Liens & Abatement Charges
Often times people do not realize there is a lien until they go to sell, refinance or purchase a property. At that time the liens will show up and must be paid prior to closing. To avoid surprises, it is highly recommended that owners, management companies, realtors, and/or title companies contact the Health Officer to inquire about all outstanding abatement charges by requesting a Payoff Inquiry. Although we try and get all inquiries replied to as quickly as possible, to ensure you are not delayed do not wait until the last minute to inquire, as it is possible to take longer if no one is available.
How do I request a Payoff Inquiry?
You can call or email the Health Officer or fill out the online Payoff Inquiry Form.
What will a Payoff Inquiry give me?
- We will look in current and archived files to ensure you have all recorded weed abatement liens
- We will make sure there are no liens pending recording
- We will also check outstanding invoices and pending mow orders
- A formal Payoff Inquiry Memo will be given at that time and a 15 day hold on all accruing charges
- Once paid you will receive a memo for your records stating that the items were paid and any recorded liens are being processed for immediate release and all others will no longer be processed.