By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – If you have a lawn, city code requires you to mow it.
Property owners who fail to do so will find a notice on their door, as well as one staked to a post in their yards, alerting them of the violation and of their public hearing date.
Most owners mow their lawns at that point, said Nikki Burton of Tupelo’s Development Services Department, which handles such offenses. But those who ignore the warnings could face a tax lien slapped on their property after the city’s forced to contract the mowing to an outside company.
One way or another, the lawn will be mowed – even if it takes five weeks of paperwork and legal maneuvering to do it.
The code states that “in order to control and to eliminate as far as possible rats, mice, snakes and mosquitoes, and thereby to promote the public health and safety of the citizens of the city, it is declared to be the public policy of the city to encourage all property owners to keep their property mowed at sufficient intervals to eliminate high grass, weeds and underbrush.”
Burton said code enforcement officers don’t measure grass with a ruler but instead act upon complaints lodged by other residents – usually neighbors.
“If you look out there and think, ‘Oh, my neighbor might complain about that,’” Burton said, “that’s a good indicator you need to go out and cut your grass.”
Complaints rack up in the spring and summer months with anywhere from 150 to 200 coming in each month. About a quarter of those end up going all the way to the public hearing phase, Burton said.
About The Series
THIS IS PART 6 in a series of stories about common Tupelo code violations heavily targeted this summer by the city. The first stories were
about house numbers, yard parking, signs and banners, junk vehicles and outdoor storage. Other stories will be:
June 11: Fences
June 18: Trash containers
June 25: Landscape maintenance
July 2: Commercial codes
TO ASK A QUESTION or report code violations, call the Tupelo Development Services Department at (662) 841-6510 and ask to speak to the Code Enforcement Division.