Jackson warns of grass cutting rules after giving $126K in fines last year

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — The City of Jackson is sending out a reminder to people to follow their grass cutting rules.

Last year in Jackson, there were grass ordinance violations at 490 properties for a total of $126,000 in fines.

The city says they are hoping to decrease those fines this year with an “increasing efforts to educate residents on the grass ordinance.”

According to the city, Jackson residents must keep grass and weeds below eight inches in height.

“We know residents have a lot going on right now and grass cutting can be forgotten, but we ask them to think of their neighbors and how tall grass can impact their property, neighbors, and the overall look of our community,” said Shane LaPorte, Director of the City’s Neighborhood and Economic Operations Department.

The average fine for this violation is $156.

“We’ve had a grass and weed ordinance on the books for several decades, but we want to make sure our residents are aware of it,” said Aaron Dimick, The City of Jackson’s Public Information Officer.

The City of Jackson’s lawn mowing ordinance says if residents avoid cutting their grass, or removing weeds city contractors will come to properties and cut the grass for them.

“It’s courteous to neighbors, we do get complaints from time to time,” Dimick stated, “from our neighbors here in the city complaining that their neighbors have not cut their grass and they don’t like the look of it, and they feel like it’s affecting their property, and it affects the look of the neighborhood.”   

Dimick added tall grass over 8 inches impacts the look of the city, and if the grass gets very long at intersections on the road it can become a vision-impaired driving hazard. Dimick says the tall grass at intersections could potentially lead to car accidents. 

“We receive those complaints, or one of our inspectors is out in the field and notices it and then your house will be put on the list and we have contractors that go around once a week during the grass cutting months,” Dimick said.

City contractors in 2020, cut grass and removed weeds at 490 properties. In total, they issued $126,591 in fines. 

“There are so many lawns per year that we have to cut just to make sure it’s below eight inches to comply with our ordinance.” Dimick said.

Contractors are sent to properties to measure an individual’s lawn if a violation is reported. The resident will receives a warning before contractors remove the weeds. Then, the fines are mailed to the property owner. 

“We are letting resident’s know about this ordinance and letting them know why they should keep their grass short and what can happen when their grass is not short,” Dimick remarked.

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