If the weeds in your yard are tall and unsightly, then you better do something quick because Provo City will clean up your property if you don't get to it first.
And if you think it sounds like a good deal to have your lot cleaned by someone else, think again. The city plans to charge for its services.The Provo City Council voted Tuesday to amend the description of annoying weeds in the Provo City ordinances and to clarify the city's right to bring civil actions because of the nuisance.
According to Raylene Ireland, executive assistant to Mayor Joseph Jenkins, "The city has a real problem each year enforcing weed abatement."
In past years the city would clean the lot and then attach a lien to the owner's property. Ireland said sometimes the fee wasn't collected for several years.
With the amended ordinance, the city will notify property owners 30 days in advance to clean up their property. If they fail to do so, the city will clean the property and send a bill to the owners.
"Enforcement is the hardest part, but this ordinance gets a little more teeth into it," said council member Barbara Smith.
The city defines noxious weeds as being more than 12 inches tall, within 30 feet of a structure, within 10 feet of the outer edge of any public street or in any other location that constitutes an unreasonable fire hazard.
The ordinance allows the city to take civil action to get rid of a nuisance or to seek damages for causing or maintaining a nuisance. This includes the cost, if any, of cleaning the property.
Upon the mayor's recommendation, the council put the amended ordinance into effect immediately to combat noxious and hazardous weeds.
Council member Stan Brown said the city will only respond to complaints and problem areas before they become fire hazards.
The ordinance will be enforced by the Provo Energy Department.