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Public shaming or polite push? Some in The Village seeing red over signs posted in yards with overgrown sod

THE VILLAGE, Okla. - Some in The Village said they're fed up with the city's response to overgrown grass, a years-long practice of placing signs in yards that have gone a little too long without a trim.

Some said it's embarrassing and it's nearly impossible to mow with all the recent rains. While others - including the city - said the signs aren't only necessary but effective.

The most recent turmoil over too-long-turf sprouted last week in a video posted Friday to a private Facebook group.

"Here is The Village, at work," said a woman as she drove along West Britton Road, calling out The Village for its use of the signs. "They decided to put all of these nuisance abatement pending all in one place. I do believe the the person in charge of doing the signs is making it quick and easy as he can."

The video racked up hundreds of comments, some siding with the woman's sentiment; others, the city.

"I think it's very important to maintain your yard because curb appeal is very important," said Edward Waide, who's lived in The Village going on 10 years and feels the signs go a long way in helping maintain the city's appearances. "I think it's great that they do that because I think that people should maintain their yards and, if they don't, then they should have a sign in their yard, telling them to get off your butt and do something."

"We get mixed reaction from the public about the signs," said The Village City Manager Bruce Stone.

Stone said the signs save the city time and money.

"Since July 1, we've issued about almost 400 notices for high grass, and most of those are signs we put out," Stone said, adding of those the city has started legal abatement on about 50 properties, which can be a long, drawn out and potentially costly process.

Stone said code enforcement officers use their discretion when it comes to placing the signs (generally when grass is reaching close to seven inches tall or higher) and concessions are made for property owners if rains impact their ability to mow the property.

"We've found, over the years, (the signs are) an effective way of dealing with the situation with the limited resources that we have," Stone said.