county commission discussed a resolution from the planning
commission recommending the county request to be excluded from
the limitation on regulating overgrown vegetation on
This translates into the county being able to put a lien on any
property that is considered overgrown after the property owners
have been warned to clear up excessive vegetation and, if the
lien is not paid, the county could foreclose on that property.
County Planner Russ Newman said the only authority the county
currently has is to send a letter requesting the property be
cleared but no way to enforce those requests.
Commissioner Austin Shaver said he was strongly opposed to the
notion that the county get into the business of putting liens on
people's property and foreclose on it because a neighbor doesn't
like the length of a homeowners grass. He told his fellow
commissioners he found the entire notion "abhorrent" and added
the county "can't be involved in this sort of thing."
He said such rules are already in place in the cities and some
county residents choose to live outside city limits to avoid
these types of regulations. He said county government has no
place acting like a bank and possibly foreclosing on people's
Commissioner Don Miller said it is a fine line between people
doing what they want on their own property and them doing things
that lower the property value of their neighbor's homes.
Commission Chairman Roy Bledsoe said any situation depends on
the proximity of neighbors and how much an overgrown property is
effecting them. "I would have a problem" with the idea of
putting liens on people's property, said Commissioner Earlena
Maples. She said, these days, an overgrown yard could reflect a
loss of a job and money and might be beyond the control of the
homeowner. "Every family is going through different things," she
Newman said while the county can request a property be cleaned
up there is no leverage to enforce it currently.
Commissioner Bob Franke said he was leery of that kind of
government authority and he was not crazy about it going any
farther. The proposal will be on the agenda at the March County