Homeowners who don’t keep their grass mowed this summer face a number of possible consequences, including annoyed neighbours, unwanted animal visitors and potential fines.
Under Fort Saskatchewan’s community standards bylaw, lawns (or weeds) on residential properties must be kept no more than 15 cm high. Anything taller might attract the attention of the city’s bylaw officers.
“One thing to remember with grass is that most people, the majority of residents, are very, very good about caring for their lawns and they want their yards to look good,” said municipal enforcement supervisor Matt Lowther. “People want their neighbourhoods to look good.”
When an untidy lawn does prompt complaints, municipal enforcement gets in touch with the residents involved to help get the situation back under control.
“Generally speaking, what we try to do is we try and work with the residents to help them get their grass cut and their yards looked after,” Lowther explained.
Proper yard care brings a number of benefits to both property owners and the wider community, Lowther added.
“When people look after their homes you tend to have less crime in those areas. You're not going to attract any unwanted animals to those places,” he said. “The other thing is it's courteous for your neighbours.”
Residents who fail to comply with the bylaw may receive $100 violation fines on their first offence. Chronic offenders could be on the hook for an even larger bill.
“If a person continually fails to look after the yard, we could require somebody to come in and look after it for them and then of course they would be billed back for any costs of looking after that labour,” Lowther said.