06/03/11 How tall does the grass and weeds have to get before action is taken by the city? During last week’s Board of Public Works and Safety meeting Code Enforcement Officer Keith Hammonds told members that he sent out 10 letters to various property owners around the city notifying them of a violation of the city ordinance.
According to the Plymouth Code of Ordinances: 98.01 It shall be the duty of the owner of any lot, part of a lot or parcel of ground, situated in the city, to cut, dig or remove from their real estate and the lawns abutting thereon, any wild lettuce, burdock, cockle-bur, sand-bur, or any other variety of species of bur, Russian thistle or Canadian thistle or any other variety or species of thistle or prickle plants, rank and noxious weeds or other rank and noxious vegetation that may be growing thereon during the periods from May 1 to September 30.
The ordinance does not specifically spell out a predetermined height. It lists a number of weeds that that must be removed during the summer season. If an owner doesn’t maintain their property the city does have actions that they can take. The ordinance states: 98.02 Any owner of a lot, part of a lot, or parcel of ground who shall fail, neglect or refuse to cut or remove weeds and grasses designated in 98.01 either prior to May 15 and August 15 of any year shall be subject to having such weeds removed by the Street Commissioner after advance notice to the owner and an opportunity for the owners to cut or remove the weeds and grasses within a specified period of time at a cost of not less than $35 per man hour and a minimum of $170 per lot. Such charge for so cutting the weeds shall be a lien against the property of the owner and shall be placed on the tax records of the county. It shall be collected by the County Treasurer as other taxes are collected. After making the assessment, the Clerk-Treasurer shall send out a statement to the property owner of the amount due the city by reason of the mowing of his weeds and if the property owner does not pay such assessment within 15 days from the date of mailing such notice, then the certification shall be made to the treasurer of the county for collection as provided in this chapter.
The ordinance continues with 98.03 pertaining to the collection of cost and penalties. It states: At the end of each weed season and not later than September 15, the Street Commissioner shall prepare and file with the Clerk-Treasurer the names of all persons from whose lots weeds were cut by the city, giving the legal description of the lot and the names of the owners as they appear on the tax duplicate. The cost or penalty against such property shall be certified to the auditor and treasurer of the county and placed on the tax duplicate of the county and shall be collected as other taxes are collected and shall remain a lien against the property of such owners until the penalty is paid. After the payment of the second installment of taxes has been made and after the treasurer of the county has completed his audit and accounting of such taxes, and not later than November 30 of any year, the treasurer of the county shall account and pay to the Clerk-Treasurer all such taxes so received and paid, which penalties shall be credited to the assessment against such owners as they appear on the records in the Clerk-Treasurer’s office. In addition to such penalty the Clerk-Treasurer shall add an assessment of $1 for the preparation and collection of such tax, which funds shall be used to pay the treasurer of the county for his services as such collection agent. The balance of such fund, if any, shall go into the General Fund of the city to be used as the Common Council shall direct and appropriate.