The City Code Enforcement team is reminding residents they’re responsible for mowing along the curb and alleyway surrounding their homes.
As City Code states: “The maintaining or permitting to be or remain on any public or private property of any of the following conditions is hereby declared to be and constitute a nuisance; provided, however, this enumeration shall not be deemed or construed to be conclusive, limiting or restrictive.”
Code Enforcement officials said they estimate there are probably about a dozen examples in Columbus of lawns not being mowed up to the curb and more than 500 violations of alleyways not being mowed as of Sept. 20, 2023. But they’re hoping to give everyone a friendly reminder and suggest residents take steps to know where their property line ends.
“They can access their address on the Platte County Assessor to see where their property line ends approximately,” City Code Enforcement’s Jodi Cole said. “As to get the exact location you would need to know where your property pins are.”
Weeds also continue to be problematic throughout the community.
Per City Code, all premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 12 inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds are defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens.
It’s considered unlawful for any owner, agent, lessee, tenant, or other person occupying or having charge or control of any premises to permit weeds, grasses, and/or worthless vegetation to remain upon the premises. This also applies to any area between the property lines of the premises and the center line of any adjacent street, alley, sidewalk, easement, right-of-way, and all other areas, public or private.
The Code Enforcement team will notify the property owner/occupant or agent in charge of the premises in writing if there is a violation by certified, return receipt requested mail or by personal service, once per calendar year.
It starts with a red tag on the violator’s door to let them know of the offense.
Whenever there is personal service of the notice, a copy of the notice shall also be mailed by certified, return receipt requested mail to the owner. If notice by personal service or certified mail is unsuccessful, notice shall be given by either publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or by posting the notice on the lot or ground upon which the nuisance is to be abated and removed.
Upon expiration of the time frames required and in the event that the owner, occupant, or agent in charge of the premises ignores or fails to comply with requirements, Code Enforcement will take steps to cut, destroy or remove all such weeds and abate the nuisance created thereby at any time during the current calendar year.
Code Enforcement will then provide notice to the owner, occupant, or agent in charge of the premises by certified, return receipt requested mail or personal service of the cost of abatement of the nuisance. The notice shall state that payment of the costs is due and payable within two months upon completion of the work done or 30 days after receipt of the notice, whichever is longer.
If the costs of removal or abatement remain unpaid after within the timeframe set forth, then a record of the costs of cutting and destruction and/or removal shall be certified to the City. Any and all costs incurred by the City in the abatement of a weed violation under the provisions of this section shall be assessed against each lot or piece of ground chargeable therewith, as a special assessment or lien as provided by law. That fee, according to Code Enforcement’s Jodi Cole, could cost upward of $150.
“I’d rather not have to stop and put a red tag on their door, but lawn maintenance is part of being a homeowner. If you’re a renter and not in charge of mowing, let your landlord know if you receive a red tag,” Cole said. “We have to follow City Code, and we want Columbus to look nice.”
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