Township board approves noxious weed ordinance

Measure aimed at reducing tall grass and weeds

FLINT TWP. — The Board of Trustees approved the second reading of a noxious weed ordinance at its Feb. 18 meeting.

The ordinance was introduced by Supervisor Karyn Miller to try and get better control of property in the township that is not mowed properly. Some revisions were made from the first reading of the ordinance, changing the length of grass and weeds from a 7-inch limit to 10-inches before a notice is sent to the property owner.

According to the ordinance, the term “noxious weeds” shall include: Canada thistle; dodders (any species of cuscuta ); mustards (charlock, black mustard, and Indian mustard, species of Brassica or Sinapis ); wild carrot; bindweed; perennial sowthistle; hoary alyssum; Ragweed; poison ivy; poison sumac or any other plant which, in the opinion of the township board as expressed by resolution, constitutes a common nuisance.

Miller said the township wants residents to keep up their lawns without multiple warnings, so the township will only give property owners 10 days after a notice is issued before it has the grass and weeds cut.

The cost of lawn cutting will be assessed to the property owner.

“We want to work with a lot of people who have violated the ordinance,” said Miller. “We will continue to work with them. We don’t want to be in the grass cutting business. We want them to cut their own grass.”

Trustee Tom Klee said he thought it would be better to keep the length limit at 7-inches because a violation could take weeks to resolve and the grass will only grow taller during that time. He also said he thought an attempt at faceto face contact with property owners in violation of the ordinance was preferred before action is taken.

“We should do our best to make faceto face contact if there’s a violation,” said Klee. “Then come back and send notice. That gives the individual a chance to come back to us, tell us if there’s a problem keeping them from cutting their grass.”

Resident Dennis Dunk said he thinks the 3-inch change in the ordinance from 7 to 10-inches is unreasonable and in order to keep lawns at that level, he thinks residents will need to mow their yards twice a week to keep up.

Klee made the motion to approve revisions of noxious weed ordinance with the clarification that the township will put in place a policy in its code enforcement that tries its very best to make physical and verbal contact with residents prior to mailing the actual violation. Treasurer Lisa Anderson supported the motion.

The board voted 6-1 in favor of the second reading of the ordinance, Clerk Kathy Funk voting against the motion.