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High grass enforcement in city to pick up next week

Times Observer photo by Josh Cotton Enforcement of high grass in the City of Warren will pick up next week when a part-time property maintenance official returns to work. According to the city, enforcement action has already started regarding this property at 602 Conewango Ave.

Recent rains combined with hot weather have resulted in accelerated grass growth.

That means it won’t be too long before tall grass complaints start rolling in.

In the City of Warren, there are specific requirements aimed to address high-grass situations.

The regulations remain the same from previous years — the height limit is eight inches.

Even with a restructured Codes office, tall-grass issues will be addressed under the Property Maintenance Code.

City Manager Nancy Freenock said code official Jess Roudybush “has been going out one day per week” to enforce that code.

“Gary Swartz, the part-time property maintenance official,” Freenock said, “will be back to work starting on Monday and he will be out full force so, please, cut your grass!”

According to a city code document, “the height of grass or weeds cannot exceed eight (8) inches. Vegetation or flowers planted for decorative purposes are excluded.”

When a complaint is made to the city, a door hanger advising of the high-grass issue will give a property owner seven days to address the issue.

From there, the enforcement mechanism will be the Quality of Life Ticket Ordinance.

That program, implemented for the first time last year, provides a quicker way for the city to achieve compliance than a traditional notice of violation.

Before a notice of violation – which can ultimately turn into a citation with the district justice’s office – a series of tickets will be issued.

“There can be up to three if compliance is not achieved,” Roudybush said. “Each ticket has a window of five days before an additional ticket is issued.”

The first is $25 with the second and third rising to $50 and then $100.

“If there is still no compliance after the third ticket,” Roudybush said, “then we issue a notice of violation under the property maintenance code, and a citation after that if it’s still not taken care of.”

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