With the warmer weather in full swing, the City’s Department of Public Works would like to remind property owners of their responsibility to maintain their personal property, including high grass and other vegetation in the right of way. The City will begin enforcing the code with warnings to residents with high grass beginning Monday, July 13 and will begin notice of violations on Friday, July 27.
“The strips of grass and vegetation between sidewalks and roadside ditches and City streets are a common problem area,” comments Steven W. Hicks, Director of Public Works and Utilities. “There may be confusion about who is responsible for maintenance”.
Per the City Code Section 98-22, although the land near the street is within the City’s right of way, the property owner/occupants are responsible for maintaining the grass, weeds and keeping the trees trimmed. In addition, it is the property owner’s/occupant’s responsibility for cutting the grass or destroying the weed from the center of the alley to their property line. Failure to adhere to this code could result in a citation and a Class 3 misdemeanor (up to a $500 fine).
Public Works has two upcoming community meetings to assist customers with awareness of the enforcement. Please plan to attend one of the following meetings.
• Wednesday, July 8: A.P. Hill Elementary School (6 p.m.) – 1450 Talley Avenue
• Thursday, July 9: Robert E. Lee Elementary School (6 p.m.) – 51 Gibbons Avenue
The City code reads as follow:
Sec. 98-22. Duty of property owners and occupants to cut grass and other vegetation between sidewalk curb line and roadside ditches.
(a) Where grass, weeds or other vegetable matter grows between any sidewalk and the curb line, and between the sidewalk and roadside ditches, it shall be the duty of the occupant of any land or premises abutting upon such sidewalk and ditches to have such grass, weeds and other vegetative matter cut to prevent such space from becoming unsightly or offensive. If any such land or premises is unoccupied, it shall be the duty of the owner thereof to have such grass, weeds or other vegetable matter cut as provided in this section.
(b) The director of public works or designee shall give a 48-hour notice of the provisions of this section to any occupant or owner and shall cause the provisions of this section to be enforced.
(c) Any person violating any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor and each day that grass, weeds or other vegetable matter shall remain uncut after notice to cut such grass, weeds or other vegetative matter shall constitute a separate offence.
(Code 1981, § 32-36; Ord. No. 12-66, 10-2-2012; Ord. No. 13-06, 1-22-2013)
State law reference— Authority of city to require removal of weeds from private and public property, Code of Virginia, § 15.2-1115.
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