CHAPTER 152 – Weeds and Grass

CHAPTER 152

WEEDS AND GRASS

 

152.01 Purpose 152.05 Noxious Weeds
152.02 Definitions 152.06 Failure to Maintain Grass Lawns
152.03 Cutting Specifications and Standards of Practice 152.07 Application of Natural Area Designation and
152.04 Uniform Height Specifications Waiver of Uniform Height Specifications

 

 

152.01    PURPOSE. The purpose of this chapter is to beautify and preserve the appearance of the City by requiring property owners and occupants to maintain grass lawns at a uniform height within the boundaries of their property and on abutting street right-of-way in order to prevent unsightly, offensive or nuisance conditions.

152.02    DEFINITIONS. For use in this chapter, the following terms are defined:

  1. “Brush” means chopped off or broken tree branches; a dense or thick growth of small trees, shrubs, and vines; and underbrush.

  2. “Curb,” “curb line” or “curbing” means the outer boundaries of a street at the edge of that portion of the street usually traveled by vehicular traffic.

  3. “Cut” or “mow” means to mechanically maintain the growth of grass, weeds or brush at a uniform height.

  4. “Grass” means any of the various plants of the grass family that are usually used as lawns or pastures; and any grasslike plant of various families having similar uses.

  5. “Owner” means a person owning private property in the City and any person occupying private property in the City.

  6. “Parking” means that part of a street, avenue, or highway in the City not covered by a sidewalk and lying between the lot line or property line and the curb line; or on unpaved streets, that part of the street, avenue, or highway lying between the lot line or property line and that portion of the street usually traveled by vehicular traffic.

  7. “Weeds” means any undesired, uncultivated plant, especially one growing in profusion so as to crowd out a desired grass, plant or crop.

152.03   CUTTING SPECIFICATIONS AND STANDARDS OF PRACTICE.

  1. Every owner shall cut, mow and maintain all grass, weeds and brush upon the owner’s property and adjacent to the curb line or outer boundary of any street, which includes the parking area abutting the owner’s property.

  2. Every owner shall cut, mow and maintain grass, weeds and brush adjacent to the curb line, including the parking area abutting the owner’s property, in such a manner so as to be in conformity with and at an even height with all other grass, weeds or brush growing on the remainder of the owner’s property.

  3. The requirements of this section shall not, however, apply to native and prairie grasses growing in the right-of-way or any street or highway.

152.04    UNIFORM HEIGHT SPECIFICATIONS. Grass and weeds shall be cut, mowed and maintained so as not to exceed the following height specifications:

1. Developed Residential Areas — not to exceed eight inches (8).

2. Undeveloped Residential Areas — not to exceed eight inches (8).

3. Business and Industrial Areas — not to exceed eight inches (8).

The requirements of this section shall not, however, apply to native and prairie grasses growing in the right-of-way of any street of highway. Grass and weeds which are allowed to grow in excess of the above-specified limitations are deemed to be nuisances and to be a violation of this chapter.

152.05    NOXIOUS WEEDS.

1. Every owner shall cut and control, or otherwise destroy, noxious weeds upon the owner’s property and adjacent to the curb line or outer boundary of any street, which includes the parking area abutting the owner’s property, by cutting noxious weeds to ground level or use of herbicides to eliminate or eradicate such weeds. Failure of a property owner to cut and control noxious weeds as herein provided shall be deemed and found to be a health, safety and fire hazard, a nuisance, and to be a violation of this chapter.

2. Noxious weeds include any weed growth or plant designated as noxious by Section 317.1A of the Code of Iowa, by the State Department of Natural Resources rules and regulations or by resolution of the Marion County Board of Supervisors.

152.06    FAILURE TO MAINTAIN GRASS LAWNS. If the owner does not perform an action required under this chapter or if an owner does not otherwise comply with this chapter, the Clerk, upon his or her own action or upon the request of the Street Superintendent, or any other City officer, shall by certified mail send a notice to the owner describing the violation, stating the act or acts necessary to comply with this chapter, stating the time in which compliance is required, and stating that if the required actions are not satisfactorily completed by the owner, the City will take the required actions and assess the costs against the owner and/or the property. In the event the required actions are not undertaken or satisfactorily completed by the owner as required and by the time specified in the Clerk’s notice, the City may abate such violation by one or more of the following means:

  1. By undertaking such abatement and assessing the costs therefor against the property for collection in the same manner as a property tax;

  2. By issuance of a citation charging the owner with a municipal infraction.

Before the assessment of any charges for work done or caused to be done by the City, the owner (as defined in this chapter) and/or the owner of legal title to the property proposed to be assessed shall be given notice and opportunity for hearing before the Council. The notice shall set forth the amount proposed to be assessed and shall include a statement of the time, date and place of hearing before the Council.

152.07    APPLICATION FOR NATURAL AREA DESIGNATION AND WAIVER OF UNIFORM HEIGHT SPECIFICATIONS. An owner of property may make application, in writing, to the Council for the designation of an area as a natural area, and for a waiver allowing grass or weeds to grow beyond the maximum heights specified in Section 152.04.

  1. If the Council grants a waiver, the owner shall maintain a buffer fifteen (15) feet in width on all sides of the natural area adjacent to developed properties or public right-of-way, which buffer area shall be cut, mowed, and maintained to the height required in Section 152.04.

  2. No approved natural area shall contain any noxious weeds as defined in Section 152.05.

  3. The failure to comply with any of the conditions for a natural area shall immediately void the waiver, shall subject the owner to the obligations under this chapter, and shall afford the City the remedies under Section 152.06.