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Manteca may abate own weeds months after directing everyone else to do so
weed city

Nearly 2½ months after the City of Manteca issued ultimatums to nearly 600 property owners to abate weeds within 30 days or the city would hire someone to do it and slap a lien against the property to cover the cost plus accompanying fines the city is finally getting around to eliminating fire hazards on municipal property.

 And if what happened last year is any indication, municipal property won’t be abated of weeds until nearly five months after the city started inspecting private property on April 1.

The City Council when they meet on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St., is expected to award a contract for $103,582 to the Greater Valley Conservation Corps to abate weeds on municipal property.

Unlike with the private sector that failed to heed city ordinances designed to reduce fire danger and enhance community safety as well as eliminate what some have called “visual blight” there are no consequences for the city failing to adhere to the ordinance duly passed by elected leaders.

The only exception was 22 years ago when the city fire department cited then Mayor Carlon Perry for the council’s failure to have weeds — including a massive number of tumbleweeds — abated along the Tidewater Bikeway while they were engaged in a dispute with the contractor over whether the asphalt had been properly applied. While the Tidewater wasn’t officially open at the time, the pavement was in place but it wasn’t passable in spots due to the overgrowth of tumbleweeds.

The city is in the same spot as they were last year after responding to inquiries from the council last year that they would strive to abate weeds earlier and look at spraying pre-emergence herbicides to help reduce the problem.

There are more than 30 city owned properties involved — including nine acquired for the McKinley Avenue interchange on the 120 Bypass.

The only city owned vacant weed infested parcel to be abated so far — and that was by April 1 — is the site of the fifth fire station proposed  at Atherton Drive and Woodward Avenue. Fire Chief Kyle Shipherd for the past two years has made sure the parcel was abated of weeds by the date firefighters start their annual canvass of the city to cite property owners for weed abatement violations. In past years residents have criticized the city for failing to abate weeds at the fire station site while citing others who had not removed weeds from their property for having a fire hazard.

In 2017, the municipal land wasn’t abated until almost the end of August. Part of it had to do with the failure to provide funding to contract out the service when the spending plan was adopted in June of 2017. Due to reductions in municipal staffing dating back to 2008 at the height of the Great Recession that has never been restored, the city lacks manpower to do the work itself and keep up with other pressing park and streets maintenance issues.

The Great Valley Conservation Corps helps those between 18 and 25 years of age with academic instruction, employment opportunities, green job training, life skills and more. It is based out of the San Joaquin County Office of Education complex in Stockton.


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.

For abatement of inoperable and/ or abandoned vehicles contact the Code Enforcement Officer at 456.-8156.


To contact Dennis Wyatt, email