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Sioux Falls Fields Long Grass Complaints

May 25, 2013, 5:55 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Sioux Falls Fields Long Grass Complaints

Passing through the intersection of 5th Street and Weber Avenue, an area of grass stands out and neighbors are taking note.

"It needs to be mowed. It's getting a little bit high," Frances Gibbens said.

And that's not only the opinion of Gibbens; it's also a Sioux Falls city ordinance. Grass in the city cannot exceed eight inches.

"We don't expect every yard to look like a golf course fairway, but there are certain standards we all need to live by. One of the easiest ones to comply with is keeping your lawns mowed below eight inches," Kevin Smith with Sioux Falls Planning and Building Services said.

The city has a hotline to take long grass complaints. This spring, that line has fielded 100 complaints.  A call leads the city to inspect an area and if there is an issue, the owner gets a letter and seven days to get it cut.

If it gets to the point where the city has to hire someone to mow the grass, the property owner will then be billed for that work. They'll also be fined $100.

"What you can either do yourself or pay a neighbor kid 20 bucks to do might cost you the $100 citation and a $200 mowing bill. We just want to remind people it is nuisance vegetation season again. Get out, mow the lawn," Smith said.

And while those figures can add up quickly, the steps to keep the length of grass in check are appreciated.

"I think that rule stands pretty good. I think it needs to be, you know, be done," Gibbens said.

The number to call to report tall grass or noxious weeds is (605)978-6900.

When the city sends a letter to the property owner the first time, it is turned in for a violation. City officials say they won't send multiple follow up letters if there are more complaints.  That simply prompts an inspection, another fine and the work to be contracted out.

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