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Weed cops hitting Manteca streets May 1

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Weed cops hitting Manteca streets May 1

A field of weeds on North Main Street.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin


POSTED April 25, 2014 1:04 a.m.

Got weeds?

It could cost you a lot of green.

The Manteca Fire Department is launching its annual weed inspection starting May 1. For two weeks, firefighters will inspect properties that they can see from their fire engine cab from streets as well as alleys. Properties found to be in violation of the city’s weed abatement ordinance will be sent citations.

First-time offenders are given a grace period to remove the weeds and other combustible material that firefighters cite them for in order to avoid a fine.

Chronic repeat offenders besides facing cost recovery charges that are more than the $102 penalty the courts typically slap on them for dragging their feet are subject to a $100 fine if they fail to abate their weeds in a timely manner for two years in a row. The fine jumps to $200 if they fail to do so for three or more consecutive years.

The city in the past has spent roughly $80,000 to get about 400 habitual offenders to comply year in and year out. The city typically issues 1,400 weed citations each year.

The city also has an administrative process in place allowing them to recovery the actual costs of re-inspection on top of the punitive fine. Manteca, though only gets about 20 percent when it comes to any court imposed fine. The rest of it goes to the county to help pay for the district attorney’s office and the courts.

The Manteca Fire Department will inspect every parcel of land within the community.

Citations will be issued to any and all property owners maintaining fire or nuisance hazards on any property within the City of Manteca. After notification, if the fire hazard and/ or nuisance is not promptly abated, the property owner will be required to appear in court. This includes, but is not limited to weeds, rubbish, dirt, trash, grass, dead trees, vegetation or other materials which constitute a public nuisance.

 

Manteca’s weed abatement rules

Specifically, the following standards apply within Manteca’s city limits:

• Property of 1/2 acre or more: Mow all vegetation to a maximum of 4 to 6 inches in height. Remove all grass, weeds or debris from the property. Disc or till the entire property. (In the process of abating property, keep dust production to a minimum to ensure compliance with Manteca Municipal Code Section 8.17 – Prevention of airborne sand, soil or dust traveling to neighboring properties in visible amounts.)

• Property of 1/2 acre or less: Mow all vegetation to a maximum of 4 to 6 inches in height. Rake and remove all dry grass.

• Trees and shrubs: All dead trees, shrubs and bushes must be cut down and removed from the property. Prunings must also be removed from the property.

• Alleys: Mow all grass and/ or weeds to a maximum of 4 to 6 inches in height. Fence lines must be clean and free of weeds. Any and all combustibles must be removed. This includes, but is not limited to, trash, rubbish, dry grass, prunings, clippings, auto parts and furniture. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of the alley from the property line to the center of the alley.

• All properties: All weeds, rubbish, excess dirt, trash, dry vegetation, discarded furniture, appliances, garbage, auto parts or other material which constitutes a public nuisance, must be abated from the property fence line to fence line.

If you have any questions, contact the Fire Prevention Division at 456.8340, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For abatement of inoperable and/ or abandoned vehicles contact the Code Enforcement Officer at 456.8156.

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