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Posted on: May 8, 2017

Note changes in Pollution Control Mowing Ordinance.

On May 1, 2017, the Oskaloosa City Council passed the third reading amending Oskaloosa Municipal Code 8.20 WEEDS. The amended ordinance became effective and enforceable Monday, May 8, 2017.

Notable changes to the new ordinance include;

Notification requirement – remove annual publication of ordinance via the Herald Oskaloosa; provide notice to violating properties by posting on site for three days prior to mowing/trimming (Staff will still provide an annual reminder through public service announcements and the city’s website.);

Height change – Reduce threshold for a violation from 12” to 8”;

Broaden the enforcement period – Removing specific months to comply with grass/weed cutting requirements, need to be mowed/trimmed all year.

Past practice; 

City staff enforced this Oskaloosa Municipal Code section primarily in the months of April -September. The city placed one official notice annually in the Oskaloosa Herald notifying property owners of the ordinance. After the official publication of this notice properties found in violation of this ordinance after April 15, May 15, June 15, July 15, August 15, and September 15 with weed heights 12” or greater could and were mowed by city staff, without any additional notification requirement, charging property owners with the cost of the mowing. 

If properties were found in violation of this ordinance outside of the above-mentioned timeframes, seven (7) days written notice had to be given to the property owner before mowing could occur by city staff.
 
Going forward;
Public notice will no longer be published in the Oskaloosa Herald. City Staff will provide reminders through public service announcements and the city’s website. 
City staff will now enforce this amended ordinance year-round. Staff will be taking a proactive approach looking for properties, and taking reports of properties thought to be in violation of the new height standard of 8 inches. Properties found in violation will be given a written notice allowing three days to bring the property into voluntary compliance. After the three days have passed, the property will be revisited to check for compliance. If the property is non-compliant the property will be mowed, mowing fees will be charged to the property owner.
Citizens may log a weed complaint through the City of Oskaloosa website; www.oskaloosaiowa.org click on the “HOW DO I” tab then click on “request city services” from the drop-down menu. Or call the Oskaloosa Fire Department at 641-673-3541, Ext. 2.

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