FINDLAY, OH (The Courier) - Findlay City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved new rules giving the city authority to cut weeds and grass over 6 inches tall. The old rules did not specify a height limit.
City officials said more rule-making work needs to done, perhaps making different rules for larger yards.
But the more specific 6-inch rule in the ordinance passed Tuesday will give quicker relief for many. The ordinance it replaced left more room for interpretation and delays, so sometimes grass grew to a foot before it was cut, city Law Director Donald Rasmussen said.
"There is no shortage of rain in the last couple of weeks and spring is here. We currently have high-grass complaints already," Mayor Lydia Mihalik said.
"We have been very proactive in trying to address some very longstanding weed complaints that maybe we were a little lenient on in the past," the mayor said. "It's time. This stuff has been allowed to fester for too long. People take a lot of pride in the property that they own. It's up to us to help them protect that. The quicker we get this done, the better."
If the city cuts grass or weeds, the property owner is billed for the work.
The same ordinance also further defines a junk vehicle, to improve enforcement of rules against storing vehicles unfit for use on outside lots.
But it was the rule against 6-inch grass and weeds that generated the most discussion.
"Requiring a person to keep their grass at 6 inches or less is ludicrous," Renee Leguire said to council before its vote.
"It's gone way too far. It's time we represent all the people in Findlay and not just an elite few," she said.
Separately, City Council listened to an upset single-family-zoned neighborhood and then rejected allowing a duplex or triplex in the neighborhood in east Findlay, south of Tiffin Avenue.
The duplex or triplex was only an idea, but would have been allowed by the proposed rezoning of the nearly half-acre tract on Spruce Drive behind Michael Eller Diamonds.
Council voted 10-0 against the rezoning. The proposed rezoning had in recent days sparked what one resident called a "Facebook frenzy" of unhappy dialogue on Councilwoman Holly Frische's "Hot Topics" page.
The rezoning request was made by Jacob Berg, who was not at the meeting. The opponents did show up. They cited a variety of concerns, including that a duplex or triplex would lower their property values and reduce privacy in adjacent backyards.