With grass cutting season here, the City of Jackson is reminding residents to keep their lawns mowed. Having a tidy lawn is courteous to neighbors and helps avoid a fine. The City hopes to decrease the amount of fines this year by increasing efforts to educate residents on the grass ordinance.
Jackson’s lawn mowing ordinance says residents are responsible for maintaining lawns and must keep grass and weeds below 8 inches in height. Letting lawns grow beyond 8 inches for weeks or months can result in a fine and City contractors coming onto properties to cut the grass or remove weeds. The average fine for this violation is $156, but it can sometimes cost more depending on how much has to be removed. In 2020, City contractors cut grass and removed weeds at 490 properties that violated the ordinance, resulting in a total of $126,591 in fines going out to residents.
After violations are reported, contractors are sent to properties to measure lawns. If the grass is higher than 8 inches, they mow the lawn on behalf of the City. Residents are then mailed a fine to cover the cost of the mowing. The process to remove tall noxious weeds at homes is different. Residents are notified of the violation and given options to remedy the issue before contractors remove weeds. This is because removing large weeds takes more time and brings a larger fine.
The majority of grass complaints are submitted to various City departments by neighbors concerned about how tall grass is impacting the look of properties or the safety of intersections. Shane LaPorte, Director of the City’s Neighborhood and Economic Operations Department, asks residents to help reduce neighbor disputes by staying on top of grass cutting. “We know residents have a lot going on right now and grass cutting can be forgotten, but we ask them to think of their neighbors and how tall grass can impact their property, neighbors, and the overall look of our community,” LaPorte said. “It’s also a good idea get someone to mow your grass if you’re away on vacation for a long period so you don’t return to a fine.”
An article explaining the ordinance was included in the City’s Spring Newsletter, which is mailed to every home in Jackson. Information is also posted on the City’s website and social media.