ARTICLE V. WEEDS, ANNUAL PLANTS AND GRASSES

Sec. 10-71. Permitting growth of weeds, annual plants or grasses over six inches unlawful.


a) It shall be unlawful for any owner or person in control of any parcel of land to permit thereon or on any public right-of-way abutting such parcel, the presence of weeds, annual plants, or grasses over six (6) inches in length or height; provided, however, that this section shall not be construed to prohibit the presence of trees, shrubs, cultivated vegetable plants or cultivated flower plants. (Ord. 1534, June 25, 2007)

b) The penalty for a violation of this section shall be a fine of not less than one hundred ($100.00) nor more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) for each offense. A separate offense shall be deemed committed for each day that a violation of this section shall continue. (Ord. #1562, 08-17-09)

Sec. 10-72. Notice to abate weeds from lots with occupied structures.


a) Whenever the owner or person in control of a parcel of land with an occupied structure fails to cut or destroy any weeds, annual plants or grasses over (6) six inches in height or length thereon, or on any public right-of-way abutting such parcel, an authorized City official may cause the service upon such owner or person in control of a notice to abate, or in the alternative, a complaint and notice to appear for, such violation of weeds, annual plants or grasses. (Ord 1534, June 25, 2007)

(b) Such notice shall be given by personal service, by certified mail or by posting a sign regarding the violation on the premises of the property in violation. (1) Personal service may be obtained through delivery of the notice by a City employee or any person authorized by law to make personal service; (2) Service may be obtained by certified mail addressed to the residence or usual place of business of the owner or person in control of the property; or (3) Service by posting may be obtained by posting a sign in a conspicuous place near the main entrance of a structure on the property. The posted sign shall be at least fourteen (14) inches in height, (8) inches in width and at the top thereof in large letters shall state the words "notice to abate." The text of the notice shall contain a reference to the provision of the City Code violate: and may contain such other information respecting the nature of the violation, as the City deems advisable. It shall be unlawful for anyone to deface, tamper with or remove the "notice to abate" sign from the property where it is posted unless authorized by the Director of Planning and Zoning.

(c) An authorized city official may cause the cutting or destruction of such weeds, annual plants or grasses under the following circumstances:

(1) Upon the failure of the owner or persons in control to comply with either a notice to abate or notice to appear as referenced in Subsection (a) above within seven (7) days from the date of service of such notice to abate or notice to appear. (Ord. #1399, 6-25-01).


(2) Whenever the owner or person in control of any parcel of land permits the presence thereon or on any public right-of-way abutting such parcel of weeds, annual plants or grasses over six (6) inches in length or height after having previously failed to comply with a notice to abate or notice to appear for failure to cut weeds within the same calendar year. (Ord. 1534, June 25, 2007)

Sec. 10-73. Notice to abate weeds on vacant lots and on lots with unoccupied structures.


(a) The City shall cause to be published in a newspaper of general circulation within the City limits once each week for two (2) consecutive weeks during the spring of each year a notice informing all owners or persons in control of any vacant lot or any lot with an unoccupied structure that the growth of weeds, annual plants or grasses on any such lot is contrary to the ordinances of the City. The notice shall further inform the public that should weeds, annual plants or grasses ever grow to more than six (6) inches in length or height, the City may cut the weeds, annual plants or grasses without further notice and the owner or person in control shall be liable to the City for its costs. This notice shall be a display advertisement.

(b) Should weeds, annual plants or grasses on any vacant lot or on any lot with an unoccupied structure ever grow to more than six (6) inches in length or height, the building inspector may cause the cutting or destruction of such weeds, annual plants or grasses. (Ord. #1562, 08-17-09)

Sec. 10-74. Lien and personal judgment.


(a) The cost of cutting the weeds, annual plants or grasses from private property, together with any incidental costs including attorney's fees, shall be recoverable from the owner or person in control of the real estate and is a lien thereon. The lien shall be superior to all prior existing liens and encumbrances, except taxes, provided, however, that within sixty (60) days after such cost and expense incurred, the City files a notice of lien in the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Marshall County. Upon payment of the cost of cutting the weeds, annual plants and grasses after the notice of lien has been filed, the lien shall be released by the City. The lien may be enforced by proceedings to foreclose.

(b) If the City's costs for cutting weeds, annual plants or grasses are not paid, the City Council may commence proceedings in the circuit court seeking a personal judgment from the owner or person in control of the subject property. The action authorized by this section shall be in addition to, and without waiver of any other remedies.