ORDINANCE NO. BL2004-261
An Ordinance to amend the Metropolitan Code of Laws to prohibit the maintenance of high grass and weeds.
WHEREAS, the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County will benefit from the absence of high grass and weeds within the area of the Metropolitan Government; and
WHEREAS, the current provisions of the Metropolitan Code of Laws do not directly address the height of grass and weeds on owner-occupied property; and
WHEREAS, the current provisions of the Metropolitan Code of Laws regarding high grass and weeds result in a long period between citation and enforcement in which high grass and weeds remain uncut; and
WHEREAS, enforcement of high grass and high weeds provisions will be more efficient if conducted by both Codes Administration and Health personnel.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. A new chapter of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby created, and this chapter shall be numbered 10.26 and titled HIGH GRASS AND WEEDS. This chapter will read as follows:
A. No owner or occupant shall maintain or permit the maintenance of grass, weeds, or other vegetation which grows to a height of twelve (12) inches or more above the ground which is (a) visible from any public way, street, sidewalk or alley or (b) within 150 feet of any property line, residence, business, industry, or public-right-of way; such a condition is hereby declared to be a public nuisance. The following exceptions to the foregoing restrictions shall apply:
1. In order to retain certain properties in their natural states, parks, greenways, street rights of way and streambeds or banks are exempt from the requirements of this section.
2. Heavily wooded lots or areas that are densely wooded with trees, shrubs and overgrowth where equipment cannot maneuver because of the density of the area are exempt from the requirements of this section.
3. Steep slopes that are covered with low growing vegetation as recommended by the State of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service for the purpose of conservation or to prevent erosion are exempt from the requirements of this section.
4. The Metropolitan Government recognizes that the use of wildflowers and other native plants in managed landscape design can be economical, low-maintenance, effective in soil and water conservation, and may avoid the excessive use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. The desirable aspects of permitting and encouraging managed natural vegetation must be balanced against preventing public nuisances and maintaining public health, safety and welfare. Therefore, the requirements of this section shall not apply to the managed growth of wildflowers and vegetation native to Tennessee, provided there is a setback of compliant growth on the property not less than ten (10) feet from the front lot line and from any property lines adjacent to residentially zoned and occupied lots. This exception applies only to managed growth and shall not apply where plant growth provides either a direct health hazard or a demonstrated breeding ground for fauna known to create a safety or health hazard. The presumption that a ten-foot setback is necessary to protect public health may be rebutted only by substantial evidence that growth within a lesser setback does not and could not pose a public health risk. The following plant species are defined as nuisance noxious weeds and are hereby found to be indicative of a lack of managed growth and a public health risk. Properties where these plant species grow are subject to a rebuttable presumption that the properties fail to come within the protection of this subsection. The presumption that these plants are indicative of a lack of managed growth may be rebutted only by substantial evidence of both management of growth and that the growth of vegetation on the lot in question does not and could not pose a public health risk:
Sonchus asper Sow Thistle
Sorghum halepense Johnson Grass
Ambrosia artemisiifolia Rag Weed
Rumex crispus Curly Dock
Croton capitatus Dove Weed
Amaranthus Pig Weed
Rhus toxicodendron Poison Ivy
Erigeron canadensis Horseweed
Rosa multiflora Multiflora Rose
term "managed" as used here means a planned and designed yard
or landscape with the intent to control, direct and maintain the growth of
B. No owner or occupant shall permit the accumulation of debris, trash, litter or garbage, or any combination of those elements; such condition is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and a danger to public health.
Section 2. Section 10.28.010 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby amended by deleting Section 10.28.010 in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:
10.28.010. High Grass and Weeds. Section 10.26 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby adopted and incorporated into this chapter to provide for the regulation of high grass and weeds, notwithstanding the provisions in Chapter 10.26, the provisions in this Chapter 10.28 shall not apply to any parcel of property upon which an owner-occupied residence is located.
Section 3. Section 10.28.040 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby amended by deleting this section in its entirety.
Section 4. Section 16.24.330(E) of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is hereby amended by deleting the word “Reserved” and replacing it with the following:
E. High Grass and Weeds. Section 10.26 of the Metropolitan Code of Laws is
hereby adopted and incorporated into this chapter to provide for the regulation
of high grass and weeds.
Section 5. This Ordinance shall take effect from and after its passage, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
Sponsored by: Ludye Wallace, Diane Neighbors
|Introduced:||June 1, 2004|
|Passed First Reading:||June 1, 2004|
|Referred to:||Codes, Fair & Farmers Market Committee|
|Withdrawn:||June 15, 2004|