By Dedra Cordle
The allowable height of vegetation has received a trim in the village of Urbancrest.
At its meeting on June 14, the village council unanimously approved an ordinance that prohibits residents from growing their brush and grass beyond eight inches. This action struck down a decades-long ordinance that allowed residents to keep their brush and grass at a height of 12 inches before receiving notification from officials to cut it back.
Code enforcement officer Randall Bogue said this review and replacement of the old ordinance was needed for a number of reasons.
“Our primary reason for passing this ordinance was because we need to get in compliance with the township and counties our village falls under,” he said.
“Jackson Township only permits eight inches of allowable height of vegetation so we have to match theirs – we cannot go with a looser restriction.”
Another reason he said this update to the books was needed was because of the beautification efforts that are underway in the village, and because noxious grass is not only unsightly but can attract critters, insects and other pests.
“Would you want your grass to be eight inches high? Would you want to live next to a property that has brush or grass that is eight inches high?” he said.
Bogue added there are currently 20 properties within the village that might be out of compliance with the ordinance passed on June 14, as well as the ordinance approved years ago.
“We have to do something to get those numbers down,” he said.
The new ordinance goes into effect immediately. Bogue said property owners found not to be in compliance with the new law will be given 30 days to act upon initial notification. If the official notification is not heeded, a cease and desist order will be initiated. If the third notification is also ignored, the village will contact a vendor to cut the brush or grass and a tax lien will be assessed against the property owner.
Bogue said he would like to see the maximum height of brush and grass cut back even further but added it may take time for some residents to get used to these new changes.
“We need to get folks used to that and then we’ll take a look at how things are going in the village and go from there.”
In other news, village council and the office of Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. issued a proclamation of congratulations to Maedison-Louise Hughes, the great-granddaughter of former Mayor and Councilwoman Veronica Shepherd, for being named a 2022 recipient of the Gates Scholarship. Hughes, a recent graduate of Independence High School and a soon-to-be freshman at The Ohio State University, wrote her scholarship essay on the legacy of her family and the impact they have made in the country, in the state, to the community, and in her life.