(A)   No owner, lessee or occupant, nor agent, servant, representative or employee of any such owner, lessee or occupant having control of any lot or land or any part thereof within the corporate limits of the city shall permit or maintain on any such lot or land, or on or along any sidewalk adjacent to the same, or along any street adjacent to the said property between the property line and the curb, or on or along any alley adjacent to the said property between the property line and the middle of the alley, any growth of grasses, rank vegetation or weeds whether defined as noxious weeds or not to a height greater than as follows:
      (1)   Upon any occupied lot including any boulevard area as defined in § 97.01 of this chapter, no greater than eight inches; or
      (2)   Upon any other lot or land no greater than 18 inches.
   (B)   The following areas and types of vegetation are exempted from this provision if managed in a manner so as not to become infested with weeds or to create a stagnant, foul-smelling condition:
      (1)   Native wetland vegetation found in wetlands, as defined by the State Wetlands Conservation Act, being Minn. Stat. §§ 103G.221 et seq., or in floodplains, drainage ponds or ditches which store and convey storm water;
      (2)   Native vegetation found in natural areas which are part of public open space, parks and nature centers;
      (3)   Areas of any occupied lot or parcel of land having wetland-type vegetation because of neighborhood drainage patterns, where the drainage pattern is evident on contour maps and from field observation, and the vegetation is confined to a single lot, separated from adjacent lots and managed so as not to be a nuisance;
      (4)   An area where the land and vegetation appear not to have been graded, landscaped, mowed or otherwise disturbed by human or mechanical means at any time. The Weed Inspector shall use reasonable judgment in determining what constitutes this type of area based on the present appearance of the area and research as to the history of the area, if such information is available;
      (5)   An area of at least five acres used by an educational institution or public agency for prairie land restoration, if the prior vegetation is eliminated and the prairie vegetation is planted through transplanting or seed. The area shall be cut at least once per year to a height of no more than 18 inches if weeds cover more than 25% of the area. If such mowing is necessary and the area is likely to be seen by the public, a sign shall be posted advising that a meadow or prairie is being established. The size of the sign shall be one square foot and it shall be no higher than three feet;
      (6)   Natural wooded lots; and
      (7)   Native plant landscape areas; provided that:
         (a)   They are set back not less than 20 feet from the front lot line. For the purposes of this subchapter, corner lots shall be deemed to have two front yards;
         (b)   They are set back not less than five feet from the side and/or rear lot lines to provide a transition zone. No setback is required on the side or rear lot lines if:
            1.   There is a fully opaque fence at least five feet in height installed between the native plants and the side or rear lot lines; or
            2.   The native plants abut a neighboring native plant landscape area;
         (c)   The native plant landscape area is cut at least once annually between April 15 and July 15 to a height no greater than ten inches;
         (d)   Turfgrass is eliminated and the native plants, trees and shrubs are planted through transplanting or seed by human or mechanical means. Soil erosion should be controlled while the ground is bare of plant growth that is sufficient to inhibit erosion and is the sole responsibility of the owner or occupant; and
         (e)   Written authorization from the City Administrator or his or her designee is obtained for work within conservation or scenic easement areas, including planting, mowing or cutting.
   (C)   No such person shall cause, permit or allow poison ivy, ragweed or other poisonous plants or plants detrimental to health, to grow on any such lot or any such land in such manner that any part of said weeds or plants shall extend upon, overhang or border any public place or in such manner that said weeds or plants are allowed to seed or to emit pollen or other poisonous particles into the atmosphere in a manner such that said particles are carried through the air into any public places.
(1992 Code, § 1065:05) (Ord. 1212, passed 8-3-1999; Ord. 1331, passed 11-5-2003; Ord. 1459, passed 8-2-2010) Penalty, see § 93.999