Busy start for weed violations

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Fort Wayne Neighborhood Code Enforcement started its weed violation program Monday.

City law says the homeowner’s lawn cannot be any taller than nine inches. If it is, one of eight seasonal enforcers will come around and post a notice in it.  After five days, a city-contracted mowing crew will mow the property at the expense of the owner.

Neighborhood code enforcers were busy responding to several complaints Monday morning. The city expects about a thousand complaints to come in the first week of the program.

“This really does have a blighting influence on the entire community. One property can make all of the difference to the surrounding neighborhood,” said Cindy Joyner, deputy director of Fort Wayne Neighborhood Code Enforcement. “Of everything we do, our weed program is probably the quickest thing we have to eradicate that blight.”

A violation notice on a vacant Delaware Avenue property came as a relief to neighbors on the city’s northeast side. Joyner said the majority of homes in violation are vacant or rentals.

But weed enforcer Karen Simon said not everyone is excited for weed violation season, especially when the homeowner is home when the notices are put up.

“I have had that in the past and I just explain the ordinance, why it’s necessary to have it, what it does for the neighborhood, and why it’s beneficial for them,” Simon said. “Because once it gets this high you have a problem with rodents…it’s not good for the neighborhood.”

Anyone who sees a yard in violation is asked to call 3-1-1 with the complaint.

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