Hanover County wants to crack down on uncut lawns

Posted at 9:19 PM, Aug 23, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-23 21:19:06-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Leaders in Hanover County Virginia want to crack down on properties with grass over twelve inches high.

“This year we have received 125 tall grass complaints,” Richard Bartell, chief building inspector for Hanover County, said.

Bartell said that is a record-breaking number of complaints, and that’s exactly why county leaders want to change current ordinances.

“This will make it easier for somebody to complain about a property, it will also make it easier for us to get the grass cut,” Bartell said.

Under current laws, the county must wait weeks, sometimes months, before taking action.

To further delay the process, said leaders, red-tape has it so that complaints can only be submitted in writing.

The new proposal will allow for complaints to be filed online and will give property owners a seven day grace period to comply once the county posts a notice on their door.

“There are civil penalties of at least $50 dollars for your first offense,” Bartell said. “We are not looking to do that, we are looking to just recover the cost for cutting the grass.”

The changes will be brought up for a second time at the next County Board meeting on Sept. 26.

Residents of Hanover County reacted positively to the news.

“I actually think it's good for the county to keep the yards looking good, it affects all the neighbors,” Sandra Carden, a Hanover resident, said.

Other residents are thankful because it will help stabilize property values.

“If I was going to move in and the neighbors had an ugly yard and they weren't maintaining it, I would think twice about it,” Beth Kennedy, another Hanover resident, said.