Mayor Steve Myers’ quest for Pacific to be both beautiful and friendly during his administration will be tested with new grass and weed abatement regulations that go into effect immediately.
The city plans to step up enforcement of grass and weed nuisance by cutting the grass of offenders and placing a tax lien on the property. But first the new code enforcement officer will visit with a friendly plea for the residents to just cut the grass.
Aldermen completed two readings of a new ordinance that sets out the procedure for city action by reading the bill twice during the May 15 board meeting.
City Administrator Steve Roth said the city is ready to begin abatement proceedings immediately.
The new law provides for the liability of property owners for weeds and trash.
“Whenever weeds or trash are allowed to grow or accumulate, the property owner shall be liable,” the ordinance reads.
Before the city would take action to send a contractor onto the property to cut the grass, written notice would be sent to the property owner and the resident.
The written notice will spell out what action the property owner is requested to take and providing a reasonable time up to 10 days for the action.
The notice will notify the owner or occupant of a hearing date where the owner would be heard and notify the owner and occupant of the city’s intention to remedy the nuisance.
The mayor will conduct the hearing. Following the hearing, the mayor is authorized to declare the weeds or trash to be a nuisance, have them removed and cause the city clerk to prepare a tax bill against the property that would bear interest at the statutory rate for delinquent taxes.
Because the bill was read twice it goes into effect immediately.
Myers noted the abatement procedure is the second action of choice. He said the new code enforcement officer, who is known for his friendly manners when dealing with offenses, would visit the property and ask the occupant to voluntarily cut the grass or remove the trash.