New Albany Village Council may once again consider legislation on cutting grass, an issue that was last brought before them in 2001 and did not pass.

New Albany Village Council may once again consider legislation on cutting grass, an issue that was last brought before them in 2001 and did not pass.

At the Aug. 17 meeting, Main Street resident Cora Lee Clark, who is also a Plain Township employee, asked council why the property behind her yard on Third Street was not mowed.

"What do we have to do to get the other property owners on Third Street to cut their grass and maintain their property?" she asked.

Clark said the grass is waist-high and she has seen groundhogs in it.

The lots in question currently are vacant. Village administrator Joe Stefanov said the village would contact the property owners and try to get voluntary compliance. The village's only other option is to work with the Franklin County Health Department to have the site declared a public nuisance.

New Albany does not have any ordinances on the books that would allow the village to warn property owners a certain number of times before having village personnel mow the grass and assess the cost to the property's tax bill.

In 2001, the village reviewed legislation that would have allowed the village to mow neglected lawns, but it was opposed by several residents who questioned how it would be enforced. One property owner on Morgan Road, who lives at the dead end of the street, attended meetings and said she had not mowed her grass in years. The woman's lot was considered one of the last rural spots in the village center at the time.

Golf course owners also could have an issue with any type of ordinance. Stefanov said many golf courses have high grasses growing on buffer mounds that separate the courses from neighborhoods.

In 2001, resident and environmentalist Bill Resch suggested the village include language to protect people like the Morgan Road owner and golf course owners by adding exemptions for "residential parcels that seamlessly extend the natural landscape of an exempted area, such as a golf course meadow or a wetland ecosystem." Resch started the New Albany-Plain Local Environmental Science program and has been active in several environmental groups.

Council members Steve Pleasnick and Chip Fellows said they feel strongly that the village needs to address the issue. Fellows said he heard quite a few high-grass complaints during his last campaign for village council.

Stefanov said he would prepare proposed legislation for a future meeting.