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Violators may get only five days to trim their lawn

10-day window lets grass grow too long, some say

July 2, 2012

West Allis - With this year's wet spring, grass grew taller and taller and complaints about people not cutting their lawns poured into West Allis City Hall, said Michael Lewis, director of public works.

The city will cut grass taller than 6 inches and charge the cost to property owners, but with the time that takes, the city started to look unkempt, Lewis said.

"It makes it look terrible," he said.

As a result, he is proposing, and the Common Council is expected to approve on Tuesday, giving property owners five days instead of 10 to cut their grass. The 10-day limit is a little on the high side, Lewis said, compared to other communities.

With a 10-day limit, it can take two or three weeks from the time a complaint comes in to finally get the grass cut - and all the time it is growing and growing, Lewis said. The city contracts with an outside company to do the actual cutting. It can get to be almost a foot tall in a couple of weeks, he said.

The department sent 140 letters to owners this year. Of those, it ended up cutting 60 properties.

"So, we get pretty good compliance," he said. But some of the properties are vacant, abandoned or foreclosed, he said.

"It's not a total solution, but it's a good first step," Lewis said.

A drought followed the wet spring and complaints have now eased.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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