Last updated: June 26. 2014 12:27PM - 864 Views
by Michael Bush, managing editor fbush@civitasmedia.com



Citizens of Altus have been out in the heat, pushing through thick, wet grass and weeds, to keep lawns short and out of code violation height. According to City officials, if a property has weeds 12-inches or higher, they can be fined and have the property mowed for them. If a code enforcement official accesses a property and finds that it is in violation, a orange sign like the one seen here will be posted in the yard. The property owner will then have 10 days to mow before the City takes action. A lien for the cost of having the property mowed by the City will then be put against the property.
Citizens of Altus have been out in the heat, pushing through thick, wet grass and weeds, to keep lawns short and out of code violation height. According to City officials, if a property has weeds 12-inches or higher, they can be fined and have the property mowed for them. If a code enforcement official accesses a property and finds that it is in violation, a orange sign like the one seen here will be posted in the yard. The property owner will then have 10 days to mow before the City takes action. A lien for the cost of having the property mowed by the City will then be put against the property.
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Lakes, trees, gardens and lawns have benefited from recent rains, but along with Spring flowers popping up, so have weeds and orange signs. The orange signs are posted by the City of Altus’ Code Enforcement officials. Signs are placed in residential yards where weeds have grown 12-inches or higher.


According to Barbara Burleson of the City’s Planning Department, there have been over 400 of the little oranges signs posted over the past few weeks.


“The signs just inform property owners that they are in violation, and what penalties they face if the yards are not mowed,” said Burleson. She added that property owners are given 10 days to mow their lawns before anything is done.


“Most people will get it done right away,” Burleson said, “and then they can just call in and tell us it has been done,” she said.


If a property owner does not mow before the 10-day grace period, a work order is issued, and the City will then mow the property and a lien will be put on the property for the amount due for mowing. There is also a possible $50 fine that goes along with it.


Burleson said that the City knows the recent rains have made it hard for property owners to keep up with the weeds, but if they receive a complaint from the public, one of the two part time code enforcement officials will make an assessment, and if they feel the property is in violation, they will post one of the little orange signs.


“We don’t purposely go out looking to put up signs, but if we go out to check on a complaint, and the whole street is overgrown, everyone is going to get a sign in their yard,” said Burleson.


Burleson also added that although the front yards are what is most noticed, the back yards also fall under the ordinance, and property owners can be fined for not mowing their back yards as well.


Burleson reiterated that with only two part time code enforcement officials, they relay heavily on citizen notifications to pinpoint specific addresses that need attention when it comes to overgrown weeds.


“People can call our office at 481-2205, or they can go online to the City of Altus’ website, www.altusok.gov and click on “Report A Concern”. Burleson added that specific addresses need to be given, and you can also leave a contact number in case you want to talk to her office about the concerns.


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