Local News

Durham to residents: Mow your lawns

Posted June 20, 2014

— After receiving hundreds of complaints about tall grass in recent months, the City of Durham is reminding residents to mow their lawns.

The city’s Neighborhood Improvement Service Department has responded to more than 900 complaints about tall grass since April 1. Citations carry a $250 minimum fine.

“Our code enforcement officers are swamped right now with complaints about tall grass, and we really need our property owners to take the time to mow their lawns so our officers can focus on other issues that impact our quality of life,” department director Constance Stancil said in a statement Friday.

The city is starting an educational campaign as a reminder. Durham Television Network, social media channels and ads on Time Warner Cable will be used to get residents to clean up their yards.

Tall grass is more than just a blight, Stancil said. Excessive vegetation can be a health issue as well.

“Weeds and undergrowth over 12 inches tall provide a harborage for rodents, vermin, mosquitoes and other pests,” she said. “This increases the hazards of disease, injury or fire as well as creates hazards to the health, safety and welfare of your yard and your neighborhood.”

For more information about property owner responsibilities or the weed, junk and debris ordinance, visit the city’s website.


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  • sunshine1040 Jun 20, 7:09 p.m.

    If you do not like mowing plant lots of flowers and trees and cover the rest with other types of plants that cover the ground problem solved

  • iron fist Jun 20, 7:01 p.m.

    What a waste of time and tax $$$

  • Naysayer Jun 20, 7:00 p.m.

    Only in Durham.

  • will2 Jun 20, 6:24 p.m.

    This has to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard of so I mow my grass to the county requirements my entire back yard is is nothing but trees and bushes these same snakes, rodents, and other animals hide in or around trees, and bushes, woodpiles, what's next being told to cut down ever tree and bush remove every piece of wood because my backyard is a hazard to the neighborhood.

  • beaupeep Jun 20, 5:16 p.m.

    Just another sign of the socal decline.

  • mikeyj Jun 20, 4:47 p.m.

    I think Durham should probably worry about criminal activity instead of grass. $250 fine? ... View More

    — Posted by laurenafailla

    IF they can't catch the real riff raff that is breaking the laws to get their funding. The theory is simply MAKE all your neighbors criminals and fine them without tying up a judges time at the bench.

  • cdurham Jun 20, 4:47 p.m.

    I think Durham should probably worry about criminal activity instead of grass. $250 fine? ... View More

    — Posted by laurenafailla

    Have you ever lived next to someone who didn't cut their grass and it's growing 2' high with... View More

    — Posted by JustOneGodLessThanU

    Well said. Neighborhood Services has helped me more than once. Its a wonderful department.

  • Winston Jun 20, 4:44 p.m.

    "And they can charge whatever they want." billy

    No they can't. The charge might be high, but show me an exorbitant fee. You can't.

  • Billy the Kid Jun 20, 4:09 p.m.

    The city's Neighborhood Improvement Service Department? What an impressive title, wonder how... View More

    — Posted by wayneboyd

    Actually what can happen is after a few notices the city comes out and mows it for the resident.... View More

    — Posted by 68_dodge_polara

    The key issue is whether the city actually follows through on making the person pay.

    — Posted by raleighboy524


    Towns, cities, etc., have the right to do the maintenance for the property owner, and if it's... View More

    — Posted by "Screen Name-8/20"

    And they can charge whatever they want.

  • Anita Woody Jun 20, 3:52 p.m.

    When I lived in Champaign, Illinois the city decided to punish an activist attorney who had been... View More

    — Posted by OakRapp

    That sounds strange that they couldn't determine a type of grass. I would think that it would be pretty easy. I find it even more bizarre that the tallgrass law would be applicable to an urban yard. Nonetheless, it's good Durham is doing this. Raleigh should be more vigilant, especially the areas around NC State where a lot of rentals are.