City Proposes Jail Term for Residents Who Don’t Mow Lawns

Hot Off The PressCouncil for the City of Canton, Ohio has proposed jail time for people who don’t mow their lawns. Under Ordinance No. 551.02, Canton’s current high grass and weeds law, more than 8 inches constitutes high grass or weeds. First-time violators are charged with a minor misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine up to $150. City Council has recently proposed an amendment to the law that would make a second offense a fourth-degree misdemeanor and which would carry a fine up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail. Council passed the second reading of the proposed amendment on Monday.

The City has explained that it is responsible for mowing an estimated 2,000 non-City owned overgrown lots, costing the City an estimated $225,000 to $250,000 per year. Accordingly to the City, an average overgrown lot costs the owner approximately $135 (consisting of $100 for mowing and a $35 administrative fee). Approximately 1,500 of the lots are owned by individuals. In addition, banks and corporations own some of the lots. The City believes that using such measures could draw attention and serve as a deterrent. The City may also consider other punishments such as cutting grass as a form of community service and possibly seeking to garnish wages or issue property liens.
lawn mower
For additional information, see the initial article
published by Ed Balint in the Canton Repository.

The proposed law has since gotten a quick national response since the above article was published on Tuesday. The Canton Repository has received numerous email messages and telephone calls and the story has been posted on a number of Web sites. To see reader comments and the City’s response, read
Ed Balint’s follow-up article in the Canton Repository.

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