New program will crack down on property owners with high grass, weeds

INDIANAPOLIS - High weeds and grass are a high priority for the city’s Department of Code Enforcement. Officials said it is an environmental and public nuisance that could also conceal illegal activity.

Last year, authorities investigated 22,000 cases of high weeds and mowed 17,000 properties, but a new program that kicked off Thursday will crack down on property owners.

Inspector Tywain Burris trudged through grass and weeds that were almost certainly in violation Thursday. But he was still required to take measurements and make sure that the growth was 12-inches tall. 

"From the time that it’s inspected, if it’s a violation, we send a letter to the property owner letting them know it’s a violation. They have five days to cut that. After that, we'll come back and re-inspect it. A lot of times, the property owners that have those yards maintained and cut. All it takes is that notification letter," Adam Baker, spokesman for the Department of Code Enforcement, said.

Oftentimes the notification letter does not work and the city has vendors that will mow the overgrowth at a price of $353.

Property owners that repeatedly fail to take care of their property can be a nuisance to others, so the inspectors have been popular figures in the neighborhood.

"Everybody likes living in a nice, clean, safe neighborhood. When stuff like this is going on, it doesn't promote a good, clean, safe neighborhood. It promotes gangs, drugs, etc. and you'd like to keep that stuff out if you could," neighborhood resident Thomas Rees said.

Call the Mayor’s Action Center at 317-327-4622 to report a high grass or weed problem.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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