THE VILLAGE, Okla. -- One metro neighborhood is cracking down on overgrown yards and they're blaming the eyesores on a summer full of rain. In the Village if you let your grass grow up to seven inches, the city will not hesitate to plop a public nuisance abatement sign in your yard.
These aren't new to the city but it seems like a wet summer might be to blame for each street having at least one of them. On some streets in the Village, almost every other house has one. City manager Bruce Stone says the new method has helped them tremendously.
“We only have two code enforcement officers and when you have a very wet season like this year,” says Stone. “With all this grass growing, it`s very time consuming.”
The signs have let the city cover a large area without having to add manpower.
“The yellow notices we used to put on the door were not nearly as effective,” says Stone. “They would ignore them and then the neighbors would be calling us going, why haven't you done anything about this.”
Village resident Mary Beth Carter says her neighbors seem to have a hard time keeping their yard mowed, but she knows the city is watching them. She hasn't felt the need to call and complain once.
“They're young people and I knew some of the former ones were going to school,” says Carter. “When you're trying to do all that it’s hard, but the Village doesn't put up with it.”
Erin Miley takes great care of her yard, but still doesn't feel comfortable having company over.
“I’m embarrassed when people come to my house” says Miley. “I always say don't mind the house next door.”
She thinks the “shaming signs” are great but still wishes it didn't have to come to this.
“The bad part is it has to get to a certain point to where it looks awful,” says Miley. “It makes my house look bad.”
These signs aren't any sort of enforcement action or penalty, but do not let your yard keep growing to 12 inches. You will then have 10 days before the city takes the job and that comes at a price.