Overgrown Yards Raise Concern

There is grass that's 5ft. tall in some Abilene yards.

ABILENE, TX - There is grass that’s five feet tall in some Abilene yards.

That has sparked concern amongst residents.

Carlos Rodriguez has lived in the area for about 30 years. He said he does what he can to make sure his yard looks nice -- however, he noticed nearby lots haven’t been mowed in months.

“They get overgrown, and they get real tall and it takes a long time to get them mowed down by the owner,” Rodriguez said.

Kelsey Rodgers is also concerned with the high weeds on the north side of town.

“No one has come to take care of it. The 'sold' sign is gone, and I have contacted the city multiple times,” Rodgers said.

For these residents, it’s more than an eyesore.

“I’ve seen rattlesnakes come out of those weeded areas as well,” Rodriguez said.

“We’re suffering the consequences of it at our house. We’ve got snakes and scorpions now,” Rodgers said.

Abilene city staff said after recent rainfall, hundreds of complaints poured in.

Bill Whitley is the Code Enforcement Supervisor.

“If the owner does not mow, then the city will send a contractor to mow it and then we bill them the cost of the mowing plus administrative fees,” Whitley said.

Here’s the procedure for grass over 12 inches and under 4 feet:

First, the property owner will get a courtesy notice. If they still haven’t taken care of it, they’ll receive certified mail.

Next, an abatement contractor is sent. The average price tag is about $150.

So far, the city has conducted 52 abatements since June 2, and there have been 692 cases opened.

So, what can do residents do about the high weeds that seem to keep growing?

“They can call up to code enforcement and get an update on the case,” Whitley said.

Usually, citations are only issued if the owner refuses to allow the contractor to mow.

© 2017 KXVA-TV


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