City looking to get all lawns, property into code compliance this summer
Posted on 6/13/2018 7:52:00 AM.
 
(Seguin) -- The city of Seguin wants its residents to be on the lookout for those overgrown, weed infested lots. Helena Schaefer, senior planner for the city of Seguin, says as the weather gets hotter and the vegetation dries out, the city is identifying this code violation as a major hazard.

"On our city ordinance, we have a Section 46.30 and it’s dealing with weedy lots or high vegetation. Here in the city, if the weeds or vegetation is over 12 inches, it's in violation of that particular ordinance. The reason that we have it at 12 inches is that it can become offensive, an environmental nuisance -- it becomes a breeding place for mosquitoes and other insects especially if it has been raining. Now it's drying out, it becomes a fire hazard this time of the year. It also is a place where rats and snakes can hide out and it's just a danger to the public health and safety of the city," said Schaefer.

Schaefer says the city is obligated to help eliminate the hazard as soon as possible.

"We only have two code compliance officers here in the city and we've got a large area to cover and we do depend on the public to report weedy lots to us and if they do see one and if it is over 12 inches to please call the citizens relations coordinator and provide us with an address or general location and usually what happens is one of the officers goes out, sees if it is an actual violation -- we then notify the owner and give them 10 days in which to resolve the violation. Otherwise, the city will come in and have their mowing contractor abate the violation," said Schaefer.

Schaefer says of course, vacant lots are the biggest offenders for the weedy lots. Usually, she says the property owners live out of town or out of state.

"It takes a while for us to track them down. We do rely on the contact information provided by the appraisal district so wherever you get your property taxes is where we send the notices of violation and it does take people from out of town and out of state awhile to resolve their violations. Of course, the other thing is that there is no contact information and sometimes the property owners are dead and the notices just come back to us. We do have those issues where it is very difficult to get a hold of the property owner. If the city has to abate the violation, we send the property owner with the latest address a bill. If the bill is not paid within a month or so, we will file a lien against the property in hopes that one day, we will be able to collect that money back that the city had to spend on the mowing contractor," said Schaefer.

There are also those cases in which the homeowner is elderly and unable to maintain the property themselves. Schaefer says that's when it might be a good time to offer some neighborly assistance in getting the job done.

Anyone witnessing property with grass or weeds taller than 12 inches are asked to contact the city's code compliance officer or citizens relations coordinator at 830-401-2445.
city of Seguin


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