Members of the Houston City Council, led by Alderman Ross Richardson, appear close to finalizing an updated ordinance that will guide mowing in the city. The move follows work sessions and discussion by the council.
While not finalized, the key points include:
•Notifying the owner of a property once — not the tenant — that the grass is in violation of city law. The owner of the property would solely be responsible and would be the city’s contact in case of corrective action. The agreed upon height of the grass is 18 inches, which is currently on the books.
•Notices of violation would be issued by the police and would cause a tax bill to be assessed as a lien on the property. Clarity is being sought to ensure proper implementation.
•It would apply to two acres or less with a structure on the property and would likely exclude agriculture zoning.
•It appeared that a majority of the council agreed that right-of-way — or the ditch line — would be mowed by the city even if it meant additional part-time help was needed during growing season.
Some on the council disagreed when the city stopped mowing right-of-way and the weeds started popping up. Alderman Kevin Stilley said the discussion on not keeping the rights-of-way mowed was sad — he estimated 95 percent of the property owners already did it anyway and the city’s efforts on everything else only contributed to the beautification of the community.