[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Clarence as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Grass, Weeds and Plant Growth
[Adopted 9-23-2009 by L.L. No. 3-2009]
This article is intended to enhance the physical and visual environment of the Town of Clarence and to preserve and promote the safety, health and well-being of persons and property in the Town of Clarence. In order to meet this objective, this article is designed to prohibit and to otherwise regulate the excessive growth of grass, weeds and plant growth consistent with other laws of the Town of Clarence and the Constitution of the State of New York.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated. All other terms have the meanings ascribed to them in regular usage.
- GRASS, WEEDS or PLANT GROWTH
- All grasses, annual plants, trees or vegetation that is harmful to the public welfare, including stumps and roots. The term "grass, weeds and plant growth" shall not include cultivated flowers, healthy trees, shrubs or gardens.
- NOXIOUS WEEDS
- Plant growth identified by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the United States Department of Agriculture as potentially dangerous to the public welfare, or such plant growth that is an unattractive public nuisance or grows in an undesirable location.
- Any person, agent, operator, legal representative firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property or recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the property or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of the real property by a court.
This article shall apply to every owner of any parcel of real property located in the Town of Clarence.
Every owner of any parcel of real property located in the Town of Clarence shall cut, trim or otherwise remove or cause to be cut or trimmed or otherwise removed all grass, weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches (254 mm). It shall be the duty of any owner of any parcel of real property in the Town of Clarence to prevent the growth of grass, weeds, plant growth accumulation or debris thereon as shall constitute a health hazard, fire hazard, safety or traffic hazard or public nuisance.
Farmland, vacant lots containing no structures, undeveloped portions of land, designated open space areas, wetlands, conservation easement areas and any other area intended to be maintained in a natural state.
Rights-of way, lands or highway easements owned by another municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state or county.
Noxious weeds shall be prohibited on any parcel of real property in the Town of Clarence.
The Code Enforcement Officer is hereby charged with the responsibility and duty to enforce this article.
In the event that the Code Enforcement Officer determines that the provisions of this article are being violated by an owner of any parcel of real property in the Town of Clarence, the Code Enforcement Officer shall serve written notice of such violation on the owner of the parcel of real property in question. The identity of the owner of the parcel of real property in question shall be determined by the record owner designated in the most recent assessment rolls on file in the Town of Clarence Assessor's office.
Written notice may be given by registered mail addressed to the owner at the address provided on the assessment roll of the parcel of real property in question, together with posting at the parcel of real property in question, or by personal delivery of notice, in person, to the owner. Service shall be deemed complete upon the deposit of the registered mailing in a postpaid envelope and the posting at the real property in question or, if by personal delivery, upon the delivery of notice, in person, to the owner of the parcel of real property.
Such notice shall specify the violation(s) as determined by the Code Enforcement Officer and shall direct the owner of the parcel of real property in question to remedy the violation(s) and bring the parcel of real property into compliance with the provisions of this article within 10 calendar days of service of notice.
An owner of any parcel of real property upon whom notice has been served to cut, trim or remove such grass, weeds or plant growth and who, for 10 calendar days after service of notice, shall neglect or fail to comply with the provisions of any such notice shall be deemed to be in violation of this article.
If, after the expiration of 10 calendar days from the date of service of notice as provided in § 155-7 above, the owner shall fail to comply with the requirements of § 155-4 above, the Code Enforcement Officer, his or her designee or any contractor hired by the Town of Clarence shall have the power to enter upon the parcel of real property in violation to cut, trim or remove such grass, weeds and plant growth which are determined to have violated the provisions of this article. The expense incurred to cut, trim or remove such grass, weeds and plant growth shall be the responsibility of the owner of the parcel of real property in question and shall be paid by such owner within 30 calendar days of the mailing to such owner by the Code Enforcement Officer of a statement detailing the expense for the same. In the event the owner fails to pay said expense within 30 calendar days, the expense thereof shall become a lien upon the parcel of real property in question and shall be added to and become part of the taxes next so assessed by including such expense in the next annual tax levy against the parcel of real property in question and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected in the same manner as general Town taxes.
The cost for removal by the Town shall be as follows:
The cost of labor, machinery and materials of the Town or the cost of services of an independent contractor. In addition, a surcharge of 25% of the above cost or $150, whatever is greater, to reimburse the Town for the cost of supervision and administration.
The above said cost and surcharge shall be levied upon the property or premises which are the subject of the enforcement action and shall be collected in the same manner as Town taxes and assessments.
Any person who shall violate a provision of this article or fail to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof shall be prosecuted within the limits provided by state or local laws. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense. Any person committing an offense against this article or any section or provision hereof is guilty of a violation punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 or by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 15 days for each such offense, or by both such fine and imprisonment.