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Lawn Mowing

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,384
Points
31
In our city, the code says that any grass or weeds over 10 inches in height must be mowed. My question is, does anyone have exclusions for vacant lots, our lots over a certain size? I have some lots in town, one area the lots are 4-6 acres. In another area lots 1-2 acres most undeveloped. Being an environmental person, I would just as soon let them mow a set distance back from neighboring developed property, and let the rest stand until at least until June 15 if not all year....I'm just not sure how to write such a thing.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
We dont regulate grass length, just noxious weeds:

10.03 PUBLIC NUISANCES AFFECTING HEALTH


The following acts, omissions, places, conditions and things are hereby specifically declared to be public health nuisances but such enumeration shall not be construed to exclude other health nuisances coming within the definition of sec. 10.02:

(1) [blah blah blah]

(2) [blah blah blah]

(3) [blah blah blah]

(4) [blah blah blah]

(5) [blah blah blah]

(6) Noxious Weeds. All noxious weeds and other rank growth of vegetation.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
We just worked on such an issue. Dealing with the exceptions is always difficult, however, one simple standard will not work:



This provision does not apply to land actually used for bona fide agricultural purposes. This provision does not apply to cultivated and maintained gardens. Areas between property lines and centerlines of adjoining streets, alleys and easements shall comply.

On vacant and undeveloped property, weeds and indigenous grasses shall not exceed 12 inches in height for 100 feet inside the perimeter of the property where adjoining an improved street, alley, or developed property (plus any areas between the property lines and centerlines of adjoining streets, alleys, and easements). For native prairie gardens, wildflower gardens or other natural areas designated by the Development Services Department Director, weeds and indigenous grasses shall not exceed 12 inches in height for 50 feet inside the perimeter of the property where adjoining an improved street, alley, or developed property. (Areas between the property lines and centerlines of adjoining streets, alleys, and easements shall comply.)
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,384
Points
31
Thanks Mike, that's just about exactly what I was thinking.
 

peter lowitt

Member
Messages
42
Points
3
Remember MOVE in Philly? Before the Mayor dropped bombs on them they tried to root them out of their homes by various strategems including weeds in the lawn, such as noted in your ordinance references. Only they hired a lawyer and argued native grasses, that some of the weeds had economic value and the City could go stuff itself. So they bombed them into oblivion. What a way to eradicate lawn problems.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,078
Points
33
Mike - I guess I'd be out of compliance with your ordinance. My prairie begins at the right-of way line and extends about fifty feet back into my front yard. It can reach 4-5' in height. Can I get a variance because my yard slopes down from the street? The grasses would only be a foot or so above the level of the pavement.

Wildflower gardens are very popular in some of the best neighborhoods in Madison (Nakoma, Monroe-Dudgeon, Vilas, etc.). Since these are the original "New Urban" neighborhoods (ca. 1900-1930), the lots are small and people often plant even in the terrace. I'm not sure what the city's ordinance requires, but I notice most have a strip of lawn (about a mower width) or a fence demarking the limits of the garden.
 
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