[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Council of the Village of Cassopolis 11-10-1997 by Ord. No. 208 (Ch. 14, Art. III, of the 2003 Code of Ordinances); amended in its entirety 8-11-2008. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Municipal civil infractions — See Ch. 34.
The Village Council determines that the growths of certain noxious weeds constitute public nuisances and are detrimental to the public health and general welfare, and that the control, eradication and removal thereof by ordinance is required.
The Village Council further determines that the public health and general welfare require that the height of grasses and uncultivated vegetation on properties be prescribed in that the unregulated height of such growths constitutes a fire hazard and/or conceals rubbish or trash which provide harborage for rodents or other pests.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- GRASSES AND UNCULTIVATED VEGETATION
- All grasses, annual plants and vegetation except trees, shrubs, bushes, wildflowers, cultivated flowers, ground cover plants, or gardens.
- NOXIOUS WEEDS
- Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) or other thistle, dodders (any species of Cuscuta), mustards (charlock, black mustard and Indian mustard, species of Brassica or Sinapis), wild carrot (Daucus carota), bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis), hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana), ragweed (Ambrosia elatior 1.) and poison ivy (rhus toxicodendron), poison sumac (toxicodendron vernix), pigweed, duckweed and milkweed.
- Any lot located within a recorded plat or any other property, whether residential, commercial or industrial.
It shall be the duty of the owner or occupant of land:
If the owner or occupant of land neglects, fails, or refuses to destroy noxious weeds or cause them to be destroyed, or neglects, fails or refuses to cut or cause to be cut as necessary grasses and uncultivated vegetation on a property so as to prevent, the height of said growths from exceeding 10 inches, then any duly authorized official, inspector, or other agent of the Village, or any independent contractor engaged by the Village to perform such work, may enter upon the property and destroy any noxious weeds by cutting or other lawful means, or to cut grasses and uncultivated vegetation on any improved property, with or without mechanical equipment.
All expenses incurred by the Village in the performance of the cutting or destroying of noxious weeds or the cutting of grasses and uncultivated vegetation on a property shall constitute a lien against the property upon which such work was performed until paid in full. In the alternative, the Village may recover the costs and expenses of said work by such other means as may be provided by law.
The Village Clerk shall publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county during the month of March each year stating that beginning May 1 of each year, noxious weeds exceeding 10 inches in height, may be cut by the Village and that grasses and uncultivated vegetation on a property exceeding 10 inches in height, may be cut by the Village, and that the owner or occupant of the property shall be charged with all costs and expenses thus incurred. Each publication shall also contain other information concerning methods of cutting, destroying, eradicating, or otherwise removing noxious weeds, and summaries of the provisions of this chapter pertaining to noxious weeds and height limitations of grasses and, uncultivated vegetation.
In the event that a violation of this chapter is either observed or reported to the Village, the Ordinance Enforcement Officer or other authorized official or designee shall post a violation notice on the structure and the Village shall mail a copy of the notice by regular mail to the occupant of the premises, or if the premises is unoccupied, to the person to whom the property is assessed to comply with the requirements of this chapter within five days of the date of service or such action as is required to bring the property in compliance shall be taken by the Village with costs assessed to the occupant/owner. Service shall be deemed accomplished on the date of mailing. The failure to give such notice shall not constitute a defense to any action to enforce the recovery of costs and expenses incurred by the Village for performing such work or void any lien imposed as security for the collection or said costs and expenses in favor of the Village provided for in this chapter.
The Village may cut noxious weeds and/or grasses and uncultivated vegetation on a property as many times as is necessary to bring the property into compliance with this chapter. The initial notice of violation shall be the only required notice. Repeat violations may result in the Village entering the offending property to take such action necessary to bring the property into compliance with this chapter and to charge the costs and expenses thus incurred to the property owner or occupant. In the event of the neglect, failure or refusal of the owner or occupant to pay said costs and expenses, the security for payment prescribed in § 208-3C shall apply.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter, including, without limitation, the failure or refusal to remove noxious growths following service of notice to do so as provided in this chapter or to pay costs due to the Village where the noxious growths have been removed by the Village is responsible for a municipal civil infraction, subject to payment of a civil fine or not less than $50, nor more than $500, plus costs and other sanctions, for each violation (as authorized by Chapter VI, Section 2 of the General Law Village Act, Act No. 3 of the Public Acts of Michigan of 1895, as amended, Chapter 34, Municipal Civil Infractions, of this Code, and other applicable laws).
Editor's Note: See MCLA § 66.2.
Repeat offenses under this chapter shall be subject to increased fines as provided by this section, below. As used in this section, "repeat offense" means a second (or any subsequent) violation of the same requirement or provision of this chapter: committed by a person within any one-hundred-eighty-day period; and for which the person admits responsibility or is determined to be responsible. The increased fine for a repeat offense under this chapter shall be as follows:
The fine for any offense which is a first repeat offense shall be not less than $100, plus costs.
The fine for any offense which is a second repeat offense shall be not less than $250 plus costs.
The fine for any offense which is a third repeat offense shall be not less than $400.
The fine for any offense which is a fourth repeat offense, or any subsequent repeat offense shall be not less than $500.
Each day on which any violation of this chapter occurs or continues constitutes a separate offense subject to separate sanctions.
The Ordinance Enforcement Officer is hereby designated as the authorized Village official to issue municipal civil infraction citations and municipal civil infraction notices for violations of this chapter, as provided by Chapter 34, Municipal Civil Infractions. As used in this chapter, "Ordinance Enforcement Officer" means the Village official, employee, agent or other entity appointed by resolution of the Village Council to perform the functions and tasks assigned by this chapter to the Ordinance Enforcement Officer.
A violation of this chapter is deemed to be a nuisance per se. In addition to any other remedy available at law, the Village may bring an action for an injunction or other process against a person to restrain, prevent or abate any violation of this chapter.