With the spring rains hitting our area every couple of days, people’s anticipation is growing at the approach of the summer months. What else is growing is the length of the grass. If you live within the City of Russellville it is important to note there are laws that govern the upkeep of yards and there are some pretty stiff penalties if you do not.
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. Grass cannot be over 12 inches in height or the property owner will be in violation.
“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 they receive a citizen complaint or the city code official sees the overgrown grass violation first hand, they will immediately contact the renter or property owner that the overgrown violation is present and give them 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.
The property in violation will be posted with a sign that the grass will be mowed within three days of the date the citation is issued. The citation for overgrown grass carries the following fines:
First offense- $50 plus mowing charge
Second offense- $100 plus mowing charge
Third offense- $200 plus mowing charge
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. Mow your yard on a regular basis. Make arrangements to have your yard mowed when you are away for an extended period of time,” said Stuart.
So far this season Stuart had already have several problem areas. He said some are repeat violators.
“I’m having several calls about grass,” said Stuart. “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.”
Stuart said if there are elderly or handicap individuals that are having a hard time getting their grass mowed just call him. he said he already has a few gracious gentleman who have agreed donated their time to help. However, Stuart said 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.”