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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

Rocky Mount gets tough on weeds
Changes in weed, trash law includes up to $500 fine, fees for violators
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File Photo: The Town of Rocky Mount has increased the penalties for homeowners who do not keep their grass cut below 10 inches. Violations could cost residents $500.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

By KEN BRADLEY - Staff Writer

If property owners in Rocky Mount allow weeds and grass on their property to grow more than 10 inches high, they could be in store for a $500 fine.

Rocky Mount Town Council voted 5-1 Monday night to put more bite into its weed and trash ordinance.

Amendments to the ordinance include reducing the qualifying weed height to be determined a nuisance from 14 inches to 10 inches.

In terms of enforcement, property owners who don't comply will face a fine of up to $500 and an administrative fee of $50.

The ordinance also increases the mowing buffer for property over one acre in size from 5 feet to 50 feet from front, back and side property lines.

Council member Gregory Walker voted against the changes in the ordinance because of the increase in the mowing buffer for large properties.

"I think 50 feet is a bit much," Walker said.

Another change in the weed ordinance decreases the property owner's time to act from 14 days to 7 days.

The ordinance allows the town to send only one notice (or post the property once) between April and November. If multiple offenses occur during this time frame, no additional notices will be sent, but a mowing crew will be sent to cut the weeds or grass with the property owner having to foot the cost.

"This ordinance represents a new approach to the way staff manages the complaint process, and shortening the process should both satisfy neighbors and increase the responsiveness of property owners," Assistant Town Manager Matt Hankins said.

Council member Bobby Cundiff made the motion to amend the weed and trash ordinance as presented to council. His motion was seconded by council member Jerry Greer.

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