Time To Buy a Goat: Kalamazoo’s ‘Mow First’ Laws Start May 1st
Well, now you have something to add to your weekend "to do" list; buy a goat....or a cow. The City of Kalamazoo beings enforcing it's grass and mowing laws on Wednesday, May 1st. Defying the law could lead to massive fines.
The new ordinance goes into effect on Thursday (April 25) and requires property owners "to keep grass maintained below 8 inches (previously the requirement was 12 inches), and requires the eradication of noxious weeds, such as poison ivy, poison oak, or ragweed. This includes grass and weeds in the public curb lawn area in front of properties."
Here's where the massive fines part kicks in.
Properties in violation will be assessed a fine of $127 and provided 10 days to correct the violation. If the issue is not addressed within the 10-day period, the property will be mowed on the owner’s behalf. The owner will then be billed to recover the cost of the mowing. The fine for each offense increases from $127 for the first offense, to $277 for the fourth and subsequent offenses. Each time grass exceeds 8 inches will be considered a new violation. Residents and property owners are strongly encouraged to monitor and maintain their properties proactively to avoid fines, prevent the spread of noxious weeds, and keep Kalamazoo’s neighborhoods well-maintained and inviting. -The City of Kalamazoo.
If you want to rat on your neighbors, the city will have a hotline for ratting them out, aptly named the 24-hour Weeds & Grass hotline at (269) 337-8847. It will work after May 1.
Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo's neighbor, has already started using goats in this capacity.