CHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND SANITATIONCHAPTER VIII. HEALTH AND SANITATION\ARTICLE 5. WEEDS AND OVERGROWN GRASS

It shall be unlawful for any owner, agent, lessee, tenant, or other person occupying or having charge or control of any premises to permit weeds to remain upon said premises or any area between the property lines of said premises and the centerline of any adjacent street or alley, including but not specifically limited to sidewalks, streets, alleys, easements, rights-of-way and all other areas, public or private, All weeds as hereinafter defined are hereby declared a nuisance and are subject to abatement as hereinafter provided.

(Ord. 1765, Sec. 1)

Weeds as used herein, means any of the following:

(a)   Brush and woody vines shall be classified as weeds,

(b)   Weeds and grasses which may attain such large growth as to become, when dry, a fire menace to adjacent improved property,

(c)   Weeds which bear or may bear seeds of a downy or wingy nature,

(d)   Weeds and grasses which are located in an area which harbors rats, insects, animals, reptiles, or any other creature which either mayor does constitute a menace to health, public safety or welfare,

(e)   Weeds and grasses on or about residential property which, because of its height, has a blighting influence on the neighborhood, Any such weeds and grasses shall be presumed to be blighting if they exceed 8 inches in height.

(f)   Grasses as used herein means any of the following:

(1)   Native or planted with growth over eight inches in length; and

(2)   Ornamental grasses, if incorporated in planned landscaping, shall be exempt from overgrowth unless growth is allowed to become dangerous with rodent habitation or heavy fire fuel load,

(Ord. 1765, Sec. 2)

(a)   The City Manager shall designate a public officer to be charged with the administration and enforcement of this article, The public officer or authorized assistant shall give written notice to the owner, occupant or agent of such property by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by personal service to cut or destroy weeds; provided, however, that if the property is unoccupied and the owner is a nonresident, such notice shall be sent by certified, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner. If the property is unoccupied and the owner is either unknown or is a non-resident and cannot be served by mail then the notice shall be published by the city clerk in the official city newspaper. Such notice shall only be given once per calendar year,

(b)   The notice to be given hereunder shall state:

(1)   that the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property is in violation of the city weed control law;

(2)   that the owner, occupant or agent in control of the property is ordered to cut or destroy the weeds within 10 days of the receipt of the notice;

(3)   that the owner, occupant or agent in control of the property may request a hearing before the governing body or its designated representative within five days of the receipt of the notice or, if the notice is published by the city clerk in the official city newspaper within 10 days after the notice is published;

(4)   that if the owner, occupant or agent in control of the property does not cut or destroy the weeds or fails to request a hearing within the allowed time the city or its authorized agent will cut or destroy the weeds and assess the cost of the cutting or destroying the weeds, including a reasonable administrative fee, against the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property;

(5)   that the owner, occupant or agent in control of the property will be given an opportunity to pay the assessment, and if it is not paid within 30 days of such notice, it will be added to the property tax as a special assessment;

(6)   that no further notice will be given during the current calendar year prior to the removal of weeds from the property; and,

(7)   that the public officer should be contacted if there are questions regarding the order.

(c)   If there is a change in the record owner of title to property subsequent to the giving of notice pursuant to this subsection, the city may not recover any costs or levy an assessment for the costs incurred by the cutting or destruction of weeds on such property unless the new record owner of title to such property is provided notice as required by this article.

(Ord. 1765, Sec. 3)

(a)   If the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the property has neither alleviated the conditions causing the alleged violation nor requested a hearing within the time periods specified in section 8-503, the public officer or an authorized assistant shall abate or remove the conditions causing the violation.

(b)   If the city abates or removes the nuisance pursuant to this section, the city shall give notice to the owner or his or her agent by certified mail, return receipt requested, of the total cost of the abatement or removal incurred by the city. The notice shall also state that the payment is due within 30 days following receipt of the notice. The cost for such abatement shall be computed at the rate of $60.00 per hour, with a minimum charge of two (2) hours, but shall be computed on actual time spent if such time exceeds the minimum of two (2) hours. An administrative charge of $50.00 will be charged to the owner, occupant or agent in charge of the premises for each nuisance abatement process, as a partial payment for services rendered by the City of Russell staff to process such abatement.

(c)   The notice shall also state that if the cost of the removal or abatement is not paid within the 30-day period, the cost of the abatement or removal shall be collected in the manner provided by K.S.A. 12-1,115, and amendments thereto, or shall be assessed as special assessments and charged against the lot or parcel of land on which the nuisance was located and the city clerk, at the time of certifying other city taxes, shall certify the unpaid portion of the costs and the county clerk shall extend the same on the tax rolls of the county against such lot or parcel of land and it shall be collected by the county treasurer and paid to the city as other city taxes are collected and paid. The city may pursue collection both by levying a special assessment and in the manner provided by K.S.A. 12-1,115, and amendments thereto, but only until the full cost and applicable interest has been paid in full.

(K.S.A. 12-1617; Ord. 1765, Sec. 4)

The public officer, and the public officer’s authorized assistants, employees, contracting agents or other representatives are hereby expressly authorized to enter upon private property at all reasonable hours for the purpose of cutting, destroying and/or removing such weeds in a manner not inconsistent with this article.

(Ord. 1765, Sec. 5)

It shall be unlawful for any person to interfere with or to attempt to prevent the public officer or the public officer’s authorized representative from entering upon any such lot or piece of ground or from proceeding with such cutting and destruction. Such interference shall constitute an ordinance violation.

(Ord. 1765, Sec. 6)

(a)   Nothing in this article shall affect or impair the rights of the city under the provisions of Chapter 2, Article 13 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, relating to the control and eradication of certain noxious weeds.

(b)   For the purpose of this article, the term noxious weeds shall mean kudzu (Pueraria lobata), field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), Russian knapweed (Centaurea picris), hoary cress (Lepidium draba), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), quackgrass (Agropyron repens), leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), burragweed (Franseria tomentosa and discolor), pignut (Hoffmannseggia densiflora), musk (nodding) thistle (Carduus nutans L.), and Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense).

(Ord. 1765, Sec. 7)