Fairfield?s code enforcement officer Scott Vaughan wants to remind residents to mow their lawns and trim trees and bushes that protrude over sidewalks and alleys.
City code section 9.76.010 states grass can be no longer than 10 inches. If Vaughan judges the grass to be longer than 10 inches, he sends the property owner a warning letter in the mail.
The letter states that the grass must be cut within seven days.
One important thing to note about warning letters is that property owners get only one per year. If Vaughan sees that the grass is too longer a few months later, he does not have to issue a second warning letter before ordering city staff to mow the lawn.
Vaughan estimated that he sends out about 90-100 warning letters on tall grass every year. Most people respond by cutting their grass, but Vaughan said the city still has to mow about 15-20 lawns per year. The city charges a minimum of $75 to mow a lawn.
The entire width of the sidewalk must be accessible. This means property owners cannot allow bushes or trees to grow over them.
?They can grow over the sidewalk quicker than people think,? Vaughan said.
The rules about trimming bushes that hang over sidewalks also apply to vegetation that grows over alleys.
Also, property owners must repair their sidewalks if they stick up creating a lip of greater than an inch. The owner can either fix it on their own or hire a contractor to do it. The sidewalk must be replaced according to certain specifications. Call city hall at 472-6193 if you plan to replace your own.
Planting in right-of-way
Special rules about planting apply to the ground between the sidewalk and street, known as the right-of-way. For instance, the city allows only certain species of tree to be planted in the right-of-way. What species are allowed depends on the width of the particularly property owner?s right-of-way, and the width of right-of-ways can differ from block to block.
Those who wish to plant a tree in their right-of-way must obtain a permit at city hall, which is free. Vaughan said only some trees are allowed because big trees can cause problems for power lines or underground pipes. No permits are necessary for trees planted on private property outside the right-of-way.