Tuscaloosa enforcing city's code on unkempt vegetation in tornad - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Tuscaloosa enforcing city's code on unkempt vegetation in tornado path

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If your grass is too high, you may be in for a fine in Tuscaloosa.  

The police department is working with the city to enforce their vegetation code specifically along the tornado path.      

Lush green grass may be inviting to some, but the city of Tuscaloosa said it's bothering others. Because of all the rain the area has received this summer; in one week 452 lots were marked as violating the city's code. 

"With the cities effort you see so many citizens that have re-built and so many businesses have returned. Unfortunately right next door you've got some land that is vacant and is really unfair to them," Jeff Motz with the city of Tuscaloosa said.   

So with every anonymous call that comes in the Tuscaloosa Police Department sends a code enforcement officer out to check it out, then posts a sign that gives the owner 7 days to cut the grass. A letter is also mailed to the property owner. 

The code says that any vegetation that is over 12 inches is in violation.

After a week, if the property owner hasn't cut the grass or tried to get in touch with the city or police department the city cuts the grass and they bill the property owner.  

The commander of the code enforcement division said the bill is much higher than what it would cost a property owner to cut the grass. 

"We'd rather be spending our time trying to address other issues in the city instead of having to address people's property because they won't maintain it," Cpt. Rodney Gilliam with TPD code enforcement said.

Just because a property owner cuts the grass after a violation sign is posted, doesn't mean they are in the clear.  The city goes back to check on the property a week after a sign goes up to make sure the issue has been taken care of. The enforcement teams plans to continue their efforts until weeds are no longer an issue.

If a property owner doesn't pay their bill from the city a lien will be put on the property.

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