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Is Bethel's lawn maintenance bill an example of government overreach?

Friday, November 04, 2016
Time: 10:04 AM

Personally, I think this is a a little over the top...

Homeowners could be fined for unmowed lawns under an amendment the town is considering to its blight ordinance. The target of the change is banks who have foreclosed on properties and aren’t maintaining them.

The amendment would allow the town to fine homeowners whose grass is longer than 12 inches and left that way for 30 days or more. But First Selectman Matt Knickerbocker said these specifics could change as officials are working on the language of the amendment for a public hearing before the end of December.

The town’s current blight ordinance was passed in 2013 and had originally included language that would have enforced lawn maintenance. Residents requested this language be removed because they did not want the “grass police” telling them to mow their lawn, Knickerbocker said.

But this amendment, while it would affect all property owners, is meant to prevent banks from ignoring maintenance at foreclosed properties.

[...]

With the amendment, neighbors would be able to file a complaint to the town, and a blight control officer would inspect the property to see whether it is a problem. The owner would then receive a letter saying the property was out of compliance, then a warning notice saying he or she could be fined, followed by potential fines.

I understand First Selectman Knickerbocker's concern...unkept lawns on foreclosed property in Bethel has been an annoying issue for some time but this proposal affects ALL property owners, not just the foreclosed property....and as the Newstimes noted, residents in Bethel already rejected this idea when they requested that the lawn maintenance language be removed from the 2013 blight ordinance.

The town might be better off if they focused their attention on unkept lawns on foreclosed properties and not place law-abiding taxpayers owners under this "lawn maintenance" umbrella that many describe as government overreach.


posted by ctblogger at 10:04 AM | Permalink|

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