The City is reminding property owners to responsibly and lawfully tend to their property as the weather warms up — especially their vacant property. If property owners do not take appropriate steps, the City is stepping up enforcement of grass and debris violations on private property and charging owners for the cost of abating those violations.

“Neighborhood conditions, including tall weeds and dumping, impact the health, safety and wellbeing of the people who live there. When owners neglect their property, they harm their neighbors and are in violation of City Code,” said Peter Bowen, Deputy CAO for the Office of Business & External Services.

New regulations for 2021 include the requirement for grass and weeds to not exceed 10 inches. In the past, the violation height was 18 inches. (This is pursuant to the recently amended Sec 66:312 et al. and Sec. 26-160 – both passed unanimously.)

In addition, the City now has a fast-track enforcement process for tall weeds and debris on private property:

  • If the City finds grass higher than 10 inches or debris on private property, it will send a Notice of Violation to the property owner giving them five days to abate the violation.
  • If the property owner fails to abate those violations before the City returns to reinspect the property, the City will clean up the property and send the owner an invoice for the costs.
  • The first cut will cost at least $300 but, depending on the size and condition of the property, costs can rise to several thousand dollars.

If the owner fails to maintain the property after the first cut, the City may have the right to maintain the property for one (1) year and charge all additional costs to the owner. If the owner fails to pay the invoices, the costs will be added to next ad valorem tax bill.

This process is already underway. Hundreds of Notices of Violation have already gone out. The City appreciates the many residents who voluntarily cleaned up their property after receiving Notice. Please do your part to keep our neighborhoods safe and beautiful and maintain your property.