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150 parcel owners face $100 weed fines
Reducing grass fires is the aim of the citys weed abatement ordinance. - photo by HIME ROMERO

There are 150 property owners who have until the end of this week to clear high weeds and rubbish from their land or face $100 penalties.

Fire Chief Kirk Waters noted firefighters issued 1,200 weed abatement citations this year - virtually the same as in 2010 - on parcels that had weeds 6 inches or higher, piled yard debris and other combustible rubbish.

The 150 were the only ones that didn’t comply with the initial citation issued by the city. Should they fail to do so by the end of the week, they will be slapped with $100 penalties.

Waters said he expected the number of parcel owners not to comply to be about 30.

The city tends to deal with the same chronic offenders each year when it comes to weed abatement.

The $100 fine has been significantly more effective than the previous $20 fine that was once issued to people who were cited and then failed to comply and were cited again.

In past years there have been 400 habitual offenders who failed to comply to the initial citation. In 2001, the council put in place a $100 fine that was based on the cost the city incurs trying to get them to comply. Since it was upped to $100, the number of parcel owners that fail to comply promptly each year has dropped to around 30.

If they still don’t comply, the city hires a company to abate the property and them slaps a lien against the parcel to recover the costs.