Weeds/Overgrown Grass

ORDINANCE NO. 2015 – 4435

 

AN ORDINANCE REQUIRING THE CUTTING OF WEEDS, GRASS, AND OTHER VEGETATION AND REQUIRING CORRECTION OF CONDITIONS FAVORABLE TO THE HARBORING OF MOSQUITOES OR OTHER INSECTS OF LIKE KIND OR RODENTS; PROVIDING FOR THE ABATEMENT OF SUCH CONDITIONS FAVORABLE TO THE HARBORING OF SUCH INSECTS OR RODENTS, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION THEREOF

 

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF PELL CITY, ALABAMA, AS FOLLOWS:

 

SECTION 1.  Pursuant to § 11-47-131, Ala. Code 1975, § 11-47-147, Ala. Code 1975, and § 11-67-20 et seq., Ala. Code 1975, as may be amended, this ordinance requires the cutting of overgrown weeds, grass, or other vegetation; requires correction of conditions favorable to the harboring of mosquitoes, other insects of like kind, or rodents; provides for the abatement of such conditions favorable to the harboring of such insects or rodents; and provides penalties for the violation thereof.

 

SECTION 2.  Definitions.

 

  1. The word “person” as used in this ordinance shall include and be applicable to business entities, corporations, and associations, as well as to individuals.

 

  1. “Service” under this ordinance shall be by certified mail delivered to the owner of the premises found to be in violation of this ordinance at the address that appears on record in the office of the tax assessor for the parcel at issue. If service cannot be completed by certified mail, service may be obtained by publication one time in the Clair News Aegis.   In addition, notices provided by Sections 5 and 7 of this ordinance shall be posted on the premises where said overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation is found to exist.

 

SECTION 3.  Every person owning, leasing, or in possession of any premises in the City of Pell City, Alabama, shall keep the same free of any overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation favorable to the harboring of mosquitoes, other insects of like kind, or rodents, and every such growth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation is hereby declared to be a nuisance, and every such person who shall allow any such growth to accumulate on the premises which such person owns, leases, or possesses, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and if convicted, shall be punished as provided by this ordinance.

 

SECTION 4.  Any overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation twelve (12) inches or more in height shall be deemed favorable to the harboring of mosquitoes, insects of like kind, or rodents within the meaning of this ordinance.

 

SECTION 5.  Whenever the City Manager of the City of Pell City, Alabama, or his designee, shall discover on any premises in the City any overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation in violation of this ordinance, the City Manager, or his designee, shall serve the owner of said premises, requiring the same to be cut and removed within seven (7) days from the date of service of said notice. Said notice shall be in substantially the following form:

 

“NOTICE”

To the owner(s) of the premises located at (here describing the property) in the City of Pell City, Alabama:

 

You are hereby notified that there exists on the above-mentioned property an overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation in violation of Ordinance No. 2015-4435.

 

You are hereby further notified that if said growth is not cut and removed within seven (7) days from this date that a notice will be issued requiring you to appear before the Municipal Judge of the City of Pell City, Alabama, the time and place to be fixed in said notice, then and there to show cause why said growth should not be declared a nuisance and an order issued.

 

Dated this the _______ day of ___________,___________

 

City of Pell City, Alabama

 

By: ____________________________________________

City Manager (or his designee)

 

 

SECTION 6.  The notice required by the foregoing section shall be served upon the owner of the premises found to be in violation of this ordinance and posted on said premises at least seven (7) days before the issuing of the notice to appear before the Municipal Judge.

 

SECTION 7.  After the issuance of the notice as provided for in Section 5 of this ordinance and the failure of the overgrown weeds, grass, or other vegetation to be cut and removed within the time specified in said notice, then in such event the City Manager, or his designee, shall serve notice to the owner of the premises found to be in violation of this ordinance to appear before the Municipal Judge of the City of Pell City, Alabama, at a time and place to be fixed in said notice, and then and there to show cause why the said overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation should not be declared a nuisance, and an order issued requiring same to be cut and removed. Said notice shall be in substantially the following form:

 

“NOTICE”

To the owner(s) of the premises located at (here describing the property) in the City of Pell City, Alabama:

 

You are hereby notified that there exists on the above-mentioned property an overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation, in violation of Ordinance No. 2015-4435 of the City of Pell City, Alabama.  You are further notified that a hearing will be conducted by the Municipal Judge of the City of Pell City, Alabama, at City Hall at (time) on the (date), at which time and place you are directed to appear and show cause, if any you can, why the existence of said growth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation should not be declared a nuisance and an order issued requiring the same to be cut and removed.

 

You are hereby further notified that if said overgrowth is not removed by your court date and the Municipal Judge of the City of Pell City, Alabama orders that the said property is a nuisance, the City of Pell City, or its contractor, shall enter upon the above-described premises and shall proceed to cut and remove said overgrowth at your cost and expense, and shall certify the cost and expense, and shall assess the said cost against you and the above-described property, and that said expense will constitute a lien on said property.

 

Dated this the _______ day of ___________,___________

 

City of Pell City, Alabama

 

By: ____________________________________________

City Manager (or his designee)

 

 

SECTION 8. The notice required by the foregoing section shall be served upon the owner of the premises found to be in violation of this ordinance and posted on said premises at least fourteen (14) days before the date fixed for the hearing before the Municipal Judge.

 

SECTION 9. At the time and place appointed in the notice provided for in Section 7 hereof, the Municipal Judge shall conduct a hearing for the purpose of determining whether the overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation complained of exists in violation of this ordinance; and if the Municipal Judge finds the same constitutes a violation of this ordinance, the Municipal Judge shall so declare the same and shall make an order requiring the cutting and removal of said overgrowth immediately from the making of said order.

 

SECTION 10. The owner of the premises found to be in violation of this ordinance, who, having been served notice in accordance with Sections 5 and 7 of this ordinance, shall fail to comply with the order of the Municipal Judge requiring the cutting and removal of such weeds, grass, or other vegetation, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished as provided in this ordinance.

 

SECTION 11. If the owner of the premises found to be in violation of this ordinance shall fail to cut and remove the weeds, grass, or other vegetation by the court date, and following an order of the Municipal Judge of the City of Pell City, Alabama requiring the cutting and removal of said overgrowth, the City of Pell City, or its contractor, may enter upon said premises, and at the expense of the owner may proceed to cut and remove said weeds, grass, or other vegetation, at its discretion, by the most efficient means, and the City Manager of the City of Pell City, or his designee, is directed to keep an account of the expense of cutting and removing such weeds, grass, or other vegetation from each separate lot or premises; and in certifying the same to the City Council of the City of Pell City, Alabama, he shall report separately as to each piece of property from which the City of Pell City, or its contractor, has cut and removed said weeds, grass, or other vegetation, together with a description of said premises and the name of the owner and the total expense incurred in abating each such nuisance.

 

SECTION 12. It is the intention of this ordinance to cause the removal of all overgrowth of weeds, grass, or other vegetation that constitutes a health hazard by the harboring of mosquitoes, other like insects, or rodents, provided, however, that this ordinance shall not apply to the growth of crops or vegetation grown for the production of food, vegetation grown in a properly fenced pasture, or undeveloped woodlands.  Moreover, this ordinance shall not apply to deforested land in the process of returning to a vegetative state, provided that the owner of said property demonstrates that the owner is implementing an intentional reforestation plan designed to restore and recreate areas of woodlands or forests on said property. 

 

SECTION 13. At times determined by the City Council of the City of Pell City, Alabama, said City Council shall set a time and place for a hearing to allow the owner of the premises found to be in violation of this ordinance to appear and show cause, if any, why the said expense should not be assessed against the owner and the premises.  The notice as herein provided shall be served and posted at City Hall at least ten (10) days before the date set for the Council hearing.  The City Council shall, unless good cause shall be shown against the right of the City to assess the same, proceed to levy, by resolution, an assessment against said owner and the premises from which the overgrowth has been cut and removed for the total expense of cutting and removing, to include administrative costs of $150.00, and the assessment, so made, shall be final. A copy of the resolution shall be filed in the Office of Probate and a copy submitted to the Revenue Commission to place said assessment as a lien against said premises.

 

SECTION 14. Persons violating provisions of this ordinance are guilty of a misdemeanor, and if convicted, shall be punished as follows: For first time violations of any section or provisions of this ordinance, the Municipal Judge shall impose a fine of not less than $50.00 for the first offense with maximum allowable by law; for the second violation of the same premises, a fine of not less than $100.00 shall be imposed with maximum allowable by law; and, for the third violation on the same premises, a fine of not less than $200.00 shall be imposed with maximum allowable by law.  In addition, all violations shall include appropriate court costs.

 

SECTION 15. All sections of this ordinance are hereby declared to be severable; and if any word, phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, or section of this ordinance shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid by the judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining words, phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and sections of this ordinance.

 

SECTION 16. This ordinance shall take effect immediately upon its passage and publication, as provided by law.

 

SECTION 17.  Ordinance No. 2011-4012 and any other ordinance, or portion thereof, in conflict with this Ordinance shall be and is hereby repealed on the effective date of this Ordinance.

 

ADOPTED AND APPROVED this 27th day of April, 2015.

 

 

/s/ James McGowan, Council President

ATTEST:

 

 

/s/ Penny Isbell, City Clerk

 

            APPROVED this 27th day of April, 2015.

 

 

/s/ Joe T. Funderburg, Mayor

ATTEST:

 

 

/s/ Penny Isbell, City Clerk

CERTIFICATION

 

            I, Penny Isbell, Clerk of the City of Pell City, hereby certify that the above Ordinance was duly adopted by the City Council of the City of Pell City at a regular meeting held on the 27th day of April, 2015, and that same has been published in accordance with law in the St. Clair News Aegis on the 30th day of April, 2015.

 

 

                                                                                    /s/ Penny Isbell