As spring fades and summer appears, so does the responsibility of mowing your lawn. With the frequency of rain lately the grass seems to grow at an accelerated rate. Once you mow it, it feels like you are turning right around and having to mow again.
If you live within the City of Russellville there are laws governing how long you can let your grass get. These laws are to protect the citizens as a lengthy lawn can draw snakes, rodents and bugs that can be a safety issue for neighbors. Not to mention an overgrown lawn is unsightly.
Overgrown grass is one of the most common citizen complaints the City of Russellville receives. The city has an ordinance which states the maximum height limit for grass is 12 inches. That means grass cannot be over 12 inches in height or the property owner will be in violation of the ordinance.
“We recognize that overgrown grass is a time sensitive violation,” said City Code Enforcement Official Terry Stuart. “The longer the complaint is allowed to be in violation, the worse the property appearance becomes, and the more public safety is compromised.”
To address the issue, code enforcement is required to take the following steps: If it receives a citizen complaint, or a city code official sees the overgrown grass violation first-hand, it will immediately make contact with the renter or property owner and inform him or her that the overgrown violation is present, and that he or she has seven days to comply. On the eighth day the code enforcement official will inspect to see if the property is in compliance. If the property is in compliance at inspection, the case is closed. If the overgrown-grass violation is still present, the city will issue a citation and call the city contractor to come mow the grass within three days at the property owner’s expense.
A citation for overgrown grass carries fines, and if the issue isn’t resolved, a lien may be filed on the property for the fine and mowing fees.
“To avoid being cited mow your yard below the 12-inch maximum height allowance,” Stuart said. “Mow your yard on a regular basis. Make arrangements to have your yard mowed when you are away for an extended period of time.”
Stuart says he gets several calls about grass.
“People need to think about their neighbors and the beautification of our city. Overgrown grass draws mosquitoes, rodents and snakes. Plus if there are prospective residents visiting the city they may change their mind if they see a lot of properties that are overgrown,” said Stuart.
Stuart said if there are elderly or handicap individuals that are having a hard time getting their grass mowed just call him. However, that if there is a 17-year-old living at home capable of mowing the grass, that’s a different story.
“I will work with people,” said Stuart. “All they have to do is contact me. We have to keep these properties mowed for the health and safety of all the citizens in the city.”
You can contact Stuart at the Russellville City Hall at 270-726-5000.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.