April showers have been known to bring May flowers, but it's the rapid growth of grass that concerns members of the Brazil City Council.
After suspending the rules requiring two readings before an ordinance becomes law, the group passed Ordinance 12-2005 during its meeting Tuesday. The ordinance amends a section of Brazil's Code of Ordinances by adding high weeds and uncut grass as public nuisances.
The ordinance changes the permissible height of grass or weeds to eight inches, along with shrubs, bushes or brush naturally growing; the length of time for the property owner or resident to remedy the problem before the city takes action to seven days from the date of the notification letter; and the fee, which will be added to the person's taxes as delinquent taxes.
The ordinance defines garbage, lot or parcel of real estate, weeds, uncut grass and other unsightly vegetation, and trash and other rank elements as:
All organic household waste, offal, animal and vegetable matter prepared or intended use of food, condemned foodstuffs and materials, and substance, materials and things ordinarily disposed of in containers and incinerators by hotels, restaurants, stores, hospitals, apartment houses and private dwellings.
Lot or Parcel of Real Estate includes, in addition to those grounds within their respective boundaries, all of the grounds lying to the center of the street or alley where the street or alley is not improved.
- Weeds, Uncut Grass and Other Unsightly Vegetation
Any weeds or uncut grass of more than eight inches in height or any bush, brush or shrub which has not been planted, but comes forth naturally or is in an untrimmed or unmaintained condition, which is harmful to the general public health and welfare or detracts from the appearance and sanitary safety of the neighborhood.
- Trash and Other Rank Elements
Any and all rubbish, junk, debris and refuse, including but not limited to glass bottles and containers, broken glass, aluminum cans, paper products, plastic products, rubber products, metals, rags, weed clippings, grass clippings, tree toppings or leaves, which is harmful to the general public health and welfare or detracts from the appearance and sanitary safety of the neighborhood.
Violations include allowing, suffering or permitting any of the above to be deposited on, grow on or remain on any such lot; and whenever and wherever any of the above is deposited on, grows on or remains on any such lot within the corporate limits of the city, the same will be a nuisance and violation.
City inspection is permissible, including going on to a person's property, whether that person owns or rents the property, to measure grass, for example. That person will be notified, but the notification may be personally delivered, sent by registered mail or published in the newspaper. The person will also be permitted to appeal the decision to the Brazil Board of Public Works and Safety.
Those who don't take care of their lots themselves will be billed for the work paid for by the city, the minimum amount being $25. If the amount is not paid within 90 days after the performance of the required work, the cost will be added to the individual's taxes.
The Brazil City Council regularly meets the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at City Hall. Meetings start at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers and are open to the public.