Proposed Local Law - Tall Grass

TALL GRASS AND WEED ORDINANCE
1. Regulation of the height of tall grass, weeds, poisonous or harmful vegetation.
a. Title; statutory authority.
i. Title
(1) This chapter shall be known as the "Village of Cherry Valley Tall Grass
and Weed Ordinance."
(2) The short title shall be the “Tall Grass Ordinance.”
ii. This article is adopted pursuant to the authority of Article 2, § 10 of the New
York State Municipal Home Rule Law, and Article 4, § 4-412 of the New York
State Village Law.
iii. The Tall Grass Ordinance shall be enforceable, applicable and in full force and
effect from April 15th through October 31st of each year.
b. Legislative intent and findings.
i. Legislative Intent. To secure the public health, safety and welfare of the
residents and property owners, by the control and regulation of the height of
tall grass and weeds upon lands within the Village.
ii. Legislative Findings.
(1) Tall grass and weeds can have a blighting effect on neighborhoods and
can provide a refuge for vermin and insects.
(2) The purpose of this ordinance is to secure the public health, safety and
general welfare of the residents and property owners in the Village of
Cherry Valley by regulating the height grass and weeds is allowed to
grow in the village.
c. Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings
indicated:
i. Brush: any uncultivated wood shrubs and immature trees.
ii. Grass: ornamental plants intended to be periodically cut close to the ground for
the establishment of a lawn or ground covering.
iii. Harmful Vegetation: those plants that are dangerous to the physical health of
humans, animals or plants, or capable of causing damage to humans, animals,
or plants to include but limited to multiflora rose and Japanese knotwood.
iv. Occupant: any person who has the right to occupy a parcel of property due to
being an owner or pursuant to a verbal or written lease or rental agreement with
the owner or agent thereof.
v. Owner: any person holding an ownership interest in land in the Village of
Cherry Valley upon which there is tall grass growing. For the purposes of this
Ordinance, the name and address listed on the Village tax assessment roll shall
indicate ownership interest in such land.
vi. Poisonous Plants: shall include but not limited to poison ivy (rhus
toxicodendron), poison sumac (toxicodendron vernix) or other such plant.
vii. Weeds: shall include but not limited to Canada thistle (Circium arvense),
dodders (any species of Cuscuta), mustards (charlock, black mustard and
Indian mustard, species of Brassica or Sinapis), wild carrot (Daucus carota),
bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis),
hoary alyssurn (Berteroa incana), ragweed (ambrosia elatior 1,) field bindweed
(Creeping Jenny), and foxtails. For purposes of this ordinance, the term
“weeds” also includes the terms of brush, harmful vegetation, and poisonous
plants as defined herein.
2. Duty to Cut Grass. The owner and/or occupants of land to which this ordinance applies
shall not allow tall grass or weeds to grow over an average of ten (10") inches in height
throughout the growing season, including grass and weeds in the right-of-way, and it
shall be the duty of all owners and/or occupants of land located in the Village of Cherry
Valley either to cut or otherwise destroy by lawful means all tall grass and weeds, as
defined in this ordinance, which are growing upon said property, before they reach a
seed-bearing stage, and to prevent said weeds from perpetuating themselves and from
becoming a detriment to public health .
3. Unlawful Acts. It shall be unlawful for the owner and/or occupant of any lot or parcel
of land to which this ordinance applies to allow or maintain upon any portion of such lot
or parcel any growth of tall grass or weeds as defined herein, or to permit the deposit or
accumulation upon any portion of such lot or parcel of land, of any brush, yard debris,
dead vegetation, or cut grass or weeds so as to create a nuisance due to unsightliness, an
unhealthy or unsafe condition, or traffic hazard, or fire hazard. Growth of grass to an
average length greater than ten (10") inches shall be considered to be a nuisance for the
purposes of this section.
4. Enforcement.
a. Enforcement Officer. This Ordinance shall be enforced by such persons who shall
be so designated by the Village Board, who shall for purposes of this ordinance be
the Ordinance Enforcement Officer (OEO).
b. Right of Entry. The Ordinance enforcement officer and his or her authorized
representatives are hereby empowered to enter upon any premises or land in the
Village for the purpose of inspecting, removing of and/or destroying of tall grass and
weeds prohibited under this ordinance. No person shall molest or interfere with such
person or person while they are engaged in carrying out the provisions of this
ordinance.
c. Violation Notice. After inspection, if any property is determined to be in violation
of this ordinance, a Violation Notice will be sent to the property owner and/or
occupant of said premises in which the name appears in the last local assessment
record of the Village. The notice shall be sent by first class postal mail and/or by
posting a copy of said notice on the property. The notice shall give the property
owner five (5) business days from the date of the notice to cut the tall grass and
weeds.
d. Failure to Comply. If the tall grass and weeds are not cut within the compliance date
on the violation notice, being five (5) business days from service of the violation
notice, the OEO shall have the authority to enter upon the land and/or to cause the
lawn to be mowed by an authorized representative who is hereby empowered to enter
upon any premises or land in the Village for the purpose of mowing tall grass and
weeds in violation of this ordinance even if the property owner and/or occupant
failed to actually receive said notice. The Village of Cherry Valley, its agents and
representatives shall not be responsible for damage to buildings, vehicles, landscape,
trees, shrubs, etc., during the mowing of property in violation of this ordinance.
e. Assessment of costs. All expenses of such cutting, to include equipment usage,
transportation, man-hours involved, and overhead, including any and all cost
incurred in the removal or relocation of debris, junk or other miscellaneous
obstructions which would be necessary or convenient to carry out the requirements
of this Ordinance shall be paid by the owners of such land plus an administrative
charge of fifty ($50.00) dollars, thereof per residential parcel, per cutting. After
having a lot mowed, the Village shall then submit a bill to the property owner for the
cost of the mowing. If the property owner does not pay the bill within thirty (30)
days of the date of the invoice the cost of such payment shall be charged against the
premises and it shall become a lien on the land or property assessed of the same
character in effect as the lien created by general law for taxes.
5. General Terms
a. Severability. The provisions of this local law are severable and the invalidity of a
particular provision shall not invalidate any other provision.
b. Should any portion of this Article be declared unconstitutional or invalid by a court
of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected.
c. Effective Date. This law shall be effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.