Pickerington Times-Sun

City willing to work with property-owners who have tall grass

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Relatively heavy precipitation interspersed with sunny days create ideal conditions for grass to grow.

The flip side is all that grass needs to be cut, and the city of Pickerington has procedures in place to ensure things don't get out of hand.

City officials will soon start the process of coordinating with local residential and commercial property owners when their grass exceeds 6 inches in height.

"We usually monitor such situations toward the end of the work-week and then will check back after the weekend to see if high grass has been cut," said Bill Vance, Pickerington city manager.

He said if the grass hasn't been cut, a "supportive notice" will be sent from the city's zoning officer to the property owner requesting it be cut.

"If they need the city's help to do so we could absolutely provide it," Vance said.

He said most property owners understand that grass needs to be routinely cut not only to protect property values, but also to prevent snake, rodent and mosquito populations from thriving in densely populated city subdivisions.

"Most people have grass maintenance issues in April/May when the cutting season weather is the wettest and there are less opportunities to cut fast growing grass in yards and at local businesses," Vance said.

Only one resident has been cited for failure to mow grass in the past four years, however, even that incident didn't result in a fine, Vance said.

He said the city is always willing to help property owners requesting contracted assistance to have their lawns maintained.

Pickerington has extra grass contractors available and will coordinate the assistance. Those seeking help should call Pickerington Zoning Officer Andie Myers at (614) 833-2204 ext. 1507.

The city also ensures foreclosed properties are maintained.

Vance said the City Zoning Officer is responsible for cutting the grass of approximately 53 vacant bank-owned properties registered with the city of Pickerington.

"The city will place annual liens on these vacant residential properties in the amounts of the grass maintenance debts they owe the city," said Vance, adding the debts "are paid annually when the property taxes are paid."

In addition, the city maintains its public rights-of-way on a daily basis to keep them free of litter and by routinely cutting the grass if necessary, Vance said.

"Doing so enhances and promotes the value of every property in Pickerington which is also a professional 'thank you' to all of Pickerington's appreciated investors," Vance said.

Other concerns the city code-enforcement staff deals with include debris-filled yards, dead trees threatening adjacent property owners, inoperable vehicles and boat trailers and campers not parked according to city codes.

"Pickerington maintains an anonymous complaint driven code enforcement department, for the most part," Vance said.

"Please feel free to pass along any such complaints with an address for our initial and informal investigation," he said.

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