Wednesday, September 07, 2016

ANC5E08 Commissioner Horacio Sierra: District grass and weed regulations

See this 09-07-2016 message from ANC5E08 Commissioner Horacio Sierra:

Although we are reaching the end of the Summer season, we can still expect several more weeks of high temperatures that keep our yards flourishing with vegetation. Please note, however, that DC has a 10"-height restriction on grass and weeds. Having grass and weeds in excess of 10" can lead to a $500 fine and automatic mowing of your lawn. The information found below provides health and safety reasons as to why this regulation is in place aside from the aesthetic concerns for maintaining a good-looking Bloomingdale!

District Grass and Weed Regulations

District regulations prohibit property owners (commercial and residential) from allowing grass and weeds on their premises to grow more than 10 inches in height. Failing to adhere to the rule could lead to fines of more than $500. Between May 1 and October 31, DCRA can immediately mow properties and issues fines.
DCRA will be hanging "door knocker" reminders at properties where the grass height is getting close to the threshhold to try to encourage voluntary compliance before the city has to intervene.
Tall grass can trigger respiratory problems like asthma and allergies in District residents and rats and other vermin are also drawn to the over-growth. This holds serious public health implications.
DCRA regulates several types of excessive vegetative growth including: kudzu, poison ivy, oak and sumac, plants with obnoxious odors, weeds, grasses causing hay fever, and any weed growth that creates a breeding place for mosquitoes. Regulations require that these weeds be cut after no more than seven days of growth.
Weeds may be defined as any vegetation at any state of maturity that:
·         Exceeds more than 10 inches in height, is untended, or creates a dense area of shrubbery that is a detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the public;
·         Creates a harbor (including hiding places for persons), or provides a place to conceal refuse or trash, regardless of height;
·         Develops into deposits, or accumulation of, refuse or trash;
·         Harbors rodents and vermin or provides a refuge for snakes, rats or other rodents;
·         Creates an unpleasant or noxious odor;
·         Constitutes a fire hazard; or
·         Contains grass or weeds that are dead and diseased.
Failure to comply with a Notice of Violation during the growing season may result in DCRA cleaning the property and billing the owner for cost of the cleanup. Residents should report suspected violations to DCRA at (202) 442-9557 (choose option 6).
Residents can also send Tweets to @dcra - include photos if you'd like - of properties with grass and/or weeds exceeding 10 inches. Please try to get exact address before making a complaint. 
Visit DPW Vacant Lot Complaint Contact Information for information on how to register a complaint with the Department of Public Works about an overgrown vacant lot.

Horacio Sierra, Ph.D.
ANC 5E08 Commissioner

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