Amherst Looks at Proposal to 'Weed Out' Unkept Yards - - ABC13

Amherst Looks at Proposal to 'Weed Out' Unkept Yards


Amherst, VA - The town of Amherst is holding a public hearing next month to get feedback on a proposed "weed ordinance."

Marceline Lotman says the yard next door looked more like a jungle than a presentable home.

"The grass was three feet high and attracting all kinds of creatures," Lotman said from her home on Woodland Drive.

She began going to town council meetings and found out there's no law that offers her any help.

The mayor says there have been more foreclosures in the town of Amherst in recent years, causing an up tick in unkept yards. But when it comes to enforcement, their hands are tied.

"Our ordinance that we have on our books right now only allows us to do something about a situation like that if it becomes a health hazard," said Mayor Jack Bailey.

The proposed weed ordinance would change that -- any property with weeds or grass taller than 12 inches could be deemed neglected. If the owner doesn't mow it within 15 days, the town will do it for them and place a lien on the property for the cost.

But, not everyone's on board.

"It's just more government in your life," said resident John Herr.

The mayor says the proposed law is a last resort for a growing problem that's causing growing frustration.

"The intent of this is not to intrude on people's personal lives. It's just the only thing we can come up with as a remedy to these problems," Bailey said.

The town wants to know what you think about a weed ordinance. It's holding a public hearing on August 8 at 7 p.m. at town hall.

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