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Weeds and Debris
|Phone: 757-382-6378||Fax: 757-382-6793||Email: firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Address: 306 Cedar Road, City Hall 2nd Floor, Chesapeake, VA 23322|
It is the owner's or occupant's responsibility to remove all weeds and debris from their property. Grass and weeds are not allowed to grow above ten (10) inches in height. This code also prohibits any accumulation of trash, garbage or other debris on the premises.
Sec. 62-2. Accumulation of weeds and debris and growth of grass or similar vegetation above certain height-- Prohibited.
- The city council finds that the accumulation in this city of weeds and debris and the growth of grass and similar vegetation beyond a certain height in specified areas of the city constitute a danger to the health and safety of the residents of the city and that such conditions shall be remedied as provided for in this section.
- It shall be the duty of the owner or such other person who is in control of any land in the city to:
- Remove all weeds and debris from such property;
- Cut all grass or similar vegetation found on any such property one acre or less in size when the average height of such grass or vegetation exceeds 10 inches; and
- Cut all grass or similar vegetation found on any such property greater than one acre in size and located within 150 feet of any dwelling or structure and any road or thoroughfare when the average height of such grass or similar vegetation exceeds 10 inches.
- Whenever a condition violating the terms of subsection (b) of this section is found on land within the city, the owner or such other person who is in control of such land or the agent of the owner may be given written notice by the city manager or authorized agent:
- Citing such condition as a violation of this section;
- Directing that such condition be remedied within ten days of service of the notice; and
- Stating the city's intention to remedy the condition at the expense of such person if such person does not remedy the condition within the time provided for in the notice.
- Once written notice, as provided for in subsection (c), per growing season (March 1--November 30) is hereby deemed reasonable notice to owners of vacant, developed or undeveloped property. If the owner or person in control of such property fails to comply with such notice, then the city manager or authorized agent may remove or contract for the removal of any excessive growth of grass or similar vegetation for the entire growing season. If the city manager or authorized agent remedies the violation, the city may see payment from the responsible person as provided for in this article.
- Whenever the owner or such other person who is in control of any land in the city fails to comply with a notice described in this section, such person shall be guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor, conviction of which shall result in a fine not to exceed $500.00. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense.
- The requirements of this section requiring cutting of grass, weeds and similar vegetation shall have no application in the following areas of the city:
- Areas zoned for or in active farming operation.
- Areas used actively and primarily for agricultural, gardening or productive forestry purposes, regardless of the zoning classification of such area.
- Woodlands and wetlands regardless of the zoning classification of such area. For purposes of this exemption, the term "woodlands" shall include productive and nonproductive forest lands and other areas which are used primarily to promote and preserve the growth of trees and seedlings. The term "wetlands" shall have the definition assign to it in section 26-515 of this code.
- Ditches located within a public drainage easement, provided that the property owner obtains written certification from the department of public works stating that the growth of weeds, grass and similar vegetation within or along the border of such ditch will facilitate drainage or erosion and sediment control.
G. Upon receiving notice of violation under this section, it shall be the responsibility of the property owner to assert a claim of entitlement to any of the exemptions enumerated in subsection (f) of this section and to obtain such certifications and other documentation as may be required to substantiate the claim. Failure to assert a claim of entitlement or to present necessary documentation in support of such claim in a timely manner shall be deemed a waiver of exemption.
Sec. 62-3. - Same - Notice
Service of the notice required to be given under section 62-2 shall be made by mailing the notice to the last known street or post office address of the owner or such other person who is in control of the land or by delivery thereof to such person. Proof of such mailing or delivering the notice shall be sufficient evidence that the notice was served, and the date of mailing or delivery, as the case may be, shall be the date of service. If the last known street or post office address of such person is unknown or the notice so mailed is returned undelivered by the post office department, then service of the notice shall be made by posting the notice on the land or premises on which the condition exists or on the land or premises abutting the sidewalk, street or alley on which the condition exists. Proof of posting the notice shall be sufficient evidence that the notice was served, and the date of posting shall be the date of service.
Sec. 62-4. Same--Remedy by city; collection of city's expense.
- If, after the city manager or authorized agent has ordered the owner or such other person who is in control of the lot, land or premises in question to remedy the violating condition within the time specified in section 62-2 and such person has failed to comply with such order, the city manager or authorized agent may provide for remedying such violating condition.
- The expense incurred by the city in remedying a violating condition shall be billed to the owner or such other person who is in control of the property involved, as may be appropriate. Such bill shall include, in addition to the direct cost of physically removing the violating condition, an administrative fee of $100.00 to defray the administrative costs incurred by the city in remedying the violating condition. If such bill is not paid within 30 days, a legal action shall be instituted for its collection, provided that if such notice was directed to the owner of the land, the expense of such removal or abatement shall also be a lien upon the land involved and shall be reported to the city treasurer, who shall collect the lien in the manner in which city taxes levied upon real estate are authorized to be collected. Such bill shall be due upon presentation to the owner, occupant or such other person who is in control of the property, as may be appropriate. If any payment is not made in full when due, there shall be added to the entire bill or to any unpaid balance of the bill, as the case may be, a penalty of ten percent of the amount thereof and interest upon such bill or any unpaid balance of the bill, as the case may be, and on the accrued penalty shall be added at the rate of ten percent per year until the bill or any unpaid balance of the bill, as the case may be, was originally due until paid. In addition, if a collection action is instituted, a collection fee shall be added pursuant to city Code section 30-16.
- Such expense shall be docketed in a book kept for that purpose in the office of the city treasurer and indexed in the name of the person owning such estate or land at the time the lien accrued.
- Liens provided for in subsection (b) of this section may be waived by the city treasurer in order to facilitate the sale of the property. Such liens may be waived only as to a purchaser who is unrelated by blood or marriage to the owner and who has no business association with the owner. All such liens shall remain a personal obligation of the owner of the property at the time the liens were imposed.