Letter to the Editor

Resident: Cut the grass, please

Sunday, May 16, 2010

To the Editor:

In the City of Brazil, we have an ordinance (94.02), that states that uncut grass or weeds in excess of 8 inches in height which detracts from the appearance of the neighborhood and that it is unlawful for any owner, occupant or lessee, of any lot within the corporate limits of the city to allow, suffer or permit this situation on property that they control.

This ordinance, in its present form, has been in effect since 2006.

Why, then, is it that you can drive around town and note the various uncut vacant lots? City personnel have a procedure whereby they must inform the owners, wait a length of time, and then take punitive action.

This is a defined and reasonable course of action if it is a new owner, occupant, or lessee. It is, however, a costly, time consuming and totally unnecessary waste of time if the current owner has owned the property for several years and the problem and informative procedure has been repeated several times.

It is not that the grass does not grow every year. It is a case of people ignoring the law and their responsibility for their property.

These vacant lots are not an embarrassment to the owners, who live out of their sight, but they are to the people who live beside them and the lot's unsightly appearance reflects upon the city as a whole.

Perhaps we need to consider applying stiffer penalties to this ordinance, with a clause that eliminates the informing and waiting period on violations after the first time to get the attention of these non-complying owners.

Leo L. Southworth,