Vidalia aldermen review grass cutting ordinance

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 16, 2010

VIDALIA — Vidalia City Aldermen are reviewing an ordinance that will make the price of not maintaining property within city limits a lot steeper.

The aldermen were given review copies of the ordinance — which is actually the amended form of an extant ordinance — at their last meeting.

Grass isn’t allowed to get taller than eight inches on lots in the city limits. If the owner doesn’t take care of the problem within 10 days, the city has the right to cut the lot and bill them.

The problem with the ordinance as currently codified is that it doesn’t take into account the size of the lots, Vidalia City Attorney Jack McLemore said.

“Our old ordinance doesn’t have but one fee — $150 —  and if you have got a full acre lot, it costs more than that,” McLemore said.

The amended ordinance maintains the $150 fee for lots of 7,500 square feet or fewer, but from there the fees escalate.

For lots 7,501 to 11,500 square feet, the fee is $175, and lots between 11,501 and 15,150 the fine is $200.

A lot sized between 15,151 square feet and one acre will net a fee of $300, and the owners of parcels of land larger than one acre will be fined $400.

The amended ordinance will be filed in August if the aldermen have no changes to make, and it will be adopted following a public hearing in September, McLemore said.

Those who refuse to comply could face jail time.

“If they refuse to do it, it becomes a criminal offense and they would be subject to fine and imprisonment, and they would have whatever it cost us to mow (their lot) put on their tax rolls at the end of the year,” McLemore said.

The fine listed in the ordinance is $250, and the maximum jail sentence is 30 days.