Neighbors upset with city over uncut grass

Posted at 11:05 PM, Jun 06, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-06 22:43:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Vacant properties with uncut grass are a growing problem in the City of Richmond.

According to Richmond guidelines, when a property is vacant the city is charged with maintaining it.

However, for residents on Claiborne Avenue, a particular property is becoming more than a frustration.

"It has not been cut at all," Jaime Custard tells CBS 6. "It just makes it worse for our property value."

Custard also says the grass, which measures nearly four feet in some spots, is attracting bugs and mosquitos causing her two-year-old to be bitten.

The Allen family lives on the other side of the vacant house.

Anthony Allen says he has called the city to check on its progress but has been left with more questions than answers.

"I recently called yesterday and was told there is a back log and was told it will be a while before it can be done," Allen said.

Allen added that it is particularly frustrating because neighbors have been cited by the city for having buttercups in their yard higher than code permits.

"That versus that, there is a big difference," Allen said.

CBS 6 contacted Richmond Public Works spokeswoman Sharon North. She said there has been a staffing shortage in the grass cutting department, a result of a lack of funds.

North says that usually there are nearly 50 workers cutting grass around the city, but that right now there are just 22.

"The Department of Public Works is working to maintain and mow the more than 1900 acres for which it is responsible. DPW also is working to prioritize the mowing at vacant properties.  We are in the process of hiring temporary employees to assist with grass cutting."

Do you know of an overgrown property? Contact CBS 6 reporter Joe St. George at