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(a) Keeping down weeds. Any person owning or having charge of land within the City shall keep such property free and clear from all noxious weeds and rank vegetation.
(b) Notice to be published. Twice, between March 1 and April 30 of each year, a notice shall be placed in a newspaper of general circulation within the community calling attention of the residents of the City to the requirement of division (a) of this section.
(c) Cutting and destroying weeds required.
(1) No owner or occupant of any lot or parcel of land located within the corporate limits from April 1 to November 30 shall:
A. Fail to cut and destroy all noxious or harmful weeds and vines growing upon such lot or parcel of land at least monthly;
B. Permit grass, all noxious or harmful weeds and vines growing upon such lot or parcel of land to grow more than six inches in height.
(2) Except as may be otherwise provided by rule of the Mayor’s Court, the required amount of bail bonds or fines authorized to be received by the Clerk of the Court in accordance with the provisions of this section shall be as follows and shall in substance be described in any citation with reference to violations alleged to have occurred under this section. The amounts hereinafter set forth constitute the initial amount and the amount due after five days from the date of issuance of the citation.
After five days
(3) If the amount in division (c)(2) of this section is not paid within 15 days from the date the notice of violation was issued, a summons shall be issued for the alleged violator. In such event the penalty provided shall be those established for a minor misdemeanor. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
(d) Notice to cut weeds; service.
(1) Upon information that noxious or harmful weeds, vines or grass exceeding the height limit are growing on land within the City, the Chief Building and Zoning Official, or any person within such department designated by him or her, shall cause a one-time written notice to be served upon the owner, lessee, agent or tenant having charge of such land notifying him or her that noxious or harmful weeds, vines or grass are growing on such land and that they shall be cut and destroyed within five days after service of such notice.
(2) Such notice shall be served by delivering the same personally to such person if he or she resides within the corporate limits of the City, by leaving such notice at his or her usual place of residence or by sending the same by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to his or her usual place of residence or to the address listed in the Franklin County tax records. If the owner or other person having charge of such land is a nonresident whose address is known, such notice shall be sent to his or her address by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by regular postal service if such certified mail has been refused by the addressee.
(3) If, at the discretion of the Chief Building and Zoning Official and/or his or her designee, it shall be determined that this is an on-going problem with a specific property, he or she may be empowered, if proper publication has been made as stated in division (b) of this section, to issue a summons to the owner of record or present tenant for Mayor’s Court without such service as stated in this division (d).
(e) Prosecution despite cutting. The cutting and destroying of noxious or harmful weeds or vines by the owner, occupant or other person having charge of the land in question, pursuant to the notice provided for in division (d) of this section, shall not constitute a bar to prosecution under division (c) of this section.
(f) Failure to comply after notice. On or after April 1 of each year, the Chief Building and Zoning Official and/or his or her designee shall determine that the growth on a particular property constitutes a hazard and/or nuisance, and at his or her discretion, he or she shall cause the hazard and/or nuisance to be eliminated by use of City forces and equipment, or by the hiring of private individuals and equipment.
(1) All expenses incurred shall be paid out of funds appropriated by Council upon vouchers approved by the Director of Finance.
(2) In the event that the owner or other persons in charge thereof fail to pay such expenses within five days after being notified in writing of the amount thereof by the Chief Building and Zoning Official and/or his or her designee, such expenses shall be certified by the Director of Finance to the County Auditor and placed upon the tax duplicate for collection as a special assessment and thereupon shall be collected as other taxes and assessments. Such expenses shall include the cost of preparing and serving notices and of the ownership investigation required. Such cost shall be $50 per services, plus any appropriate fees and/or fines. The notification of expenses incurred by the Chief Building and Zoning Official and/or his or her designee may be made by ordinary mail addressed to the owner at the address listed in the County tax records. The equitable remedy provided in this section shall be in addition to the penalty provided in division (c)(2) of this section. (Ord. C73-09. Passed 10-5-09.)
(g) Penalty. Whoever violates this section, in addition to the action by the City, is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.
(Ord. C23-88. Passed 4-18-88; Ord. C19-90. Passed 3-5-90; Ord. C27-93. Passed 3-15-93; Ord. C-73-09. Passed 10-5-09.)