While bylaws about keeping junk in front yards are understandable, bylaws that tell people their grass can’t be longer than 7 inches (about 18 cm) seem like a creation for a Diploma Course in Petty Red Tape and Officialdom.  (It is, of course, a good idea to keep lawns mowed, otherwise it’s an advertisement for burglars that no-one is home.)

A quick perusal of KCDC bylaws does not reveal any such requirement here, fortunately.


grass measuredWe’re closing in on the point where everything not explicitly permitted by the government is forbidden. From Dagny Taggart at theorganicprepper.com:

A few weeks ago, I noticed a woman standing in my neighbor’s yard doing something I thought was pretty damn strange: she was measuring blades of grass with a tape measure.

Then I noticed the city truck parked on the street.

Turns out, the woman was with codes compliance or whatever they call it…apparently, her job is to drive around looking for reasons to harass and extort people for things like tall grass.

When I realized who she was and what she was doing, my next thoughts were “Are there not real problems in this city that need attention? There are people who drive around and measure grass for a living? And these employees are paid with taxpayer money…to extort taxpayers?”

It isn’t like there aren’t real problems in this city. Like most regions in the US, there are things like potholes, traffic light outages, crime, and other random issues that, to a logical thinker, seem more pressing than the height of residents’ lawns.

Since when did having tall grass become a crime?

In many parts of the United States, allowing your grass to reach a certain height will lead to an unpleasant visit from the Grass Gestapo. I know, because it happened to me a few days after I spotted the Lawn Police measuring my neighbor’s grass. We were the lucky recipients of a letter informing us that OUR grass was too tall and that if we didn’t address the “violation” there would be consequences.

So, we mowed the grass and thought the issue was resolved.

A few weeks later, we got another letter from the city. Apparently, we are now on some kind of lawn maintenance watch list.

Here is an excerpt from the second letter. I have added my own observations and commentary (the parts in bold and italics):

An inspection of the above described property (so much for private property – pretty sure this is trespassing) was conducted and the following violation of the [redacted for privacy] municipal code was observed:

On 06/25/2019 you were sent a letter stating the following violation. Once again on 07/23/2019 I inspected your property and the grass and weeds were again exceeding the allowed 7 inches. (Again, this woman admits she trespassed on our property)

VIOLATION:

All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 7 inches in height. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants, and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. (Now every property “owner” is expected to be able to identify noxious weeds and other plants? I’m surprised the city hasn’t hired botanists to come out to identify each and every piece of vegetation on every yard and fine us per plant.)

Any owner of agent having charge of a property who fails to cut and destroy weeds after service of a notice violation, they shall be subject to prosecution in accordance with (code redacted) and as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction. Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the City or contractor hired by the City shall be authorized to enter upon the property that is in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property. (Translated: We will trespass on “your” property whenever we want, and there is nothing you can do about it.)

Also in accordance with state statutes (redacted for privacy), if weeds are allowed to grow on the same property in violation of (code redacted) more than once during the same growing season, no additional notification is Department of Planning and Community Development required and the weeds will be cut by a contractor employed by the City with the cost thereof placed as an additional special tax on the property if it is not paid within 30 days of receiving invoice.

Additionally, if it is determined that compliance is not met, a citation may be issued in the (redacted) court which will require an appearance in Court and may include a fine of up to $1000 per day (What the heck?) that the violation is allowed to occur. (This is extortion. What if a property owner is disabled or injured and can’t afford to hire lawn service? What if they are in the hospital? What if they just happen to like tall grass?)

(Full article here)