[Ord. No. 03-1450 §1, 9-15-2003; Ord. No. 20-2291, 3-16-2020]
Any lot having weeds or plant growth in excess of eight (8) inches, except as provided for herein, is declared a nuisance. "Weeds" shall be defined as all grasses and annual plants and vegetation, other than trees, shrubs or ornamental grasses; however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers or plants, gardens or agricultural acreage. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to limit the use of ground cover or other vegetation for the purpose of stabilizing soil, remedying drainage problems, or eliminating the need to mow steep inclines with a slope of more than three (3) to one (1). This Section shall not apply to land within creek channels, wetlands, ravines or established wooded areas, as may be established by the Director of Planning and Zoning. Nothing herein shall permit weeds, as herein defined, in excess of the height limitation established above, within ten (10) feet of any public or private roadway or sidewalk.
All invasive non-native, exotic plant species are declared a public nuisance. The planting, cultivation and propagation of all invasive non-native, exotic plant species shall be prohibited on all property, public or private. Invasive non-native, exotic plant species are as defined by the Missouri Department of Conservation, which include, but are not limited to, the following plants:
Autumn olive, Elaeagnus umbellate; (2) Bamboo, Phyllostachys varieties; (3) Bush honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii; (4) Callery pear, Pyrus calleryana; (5) Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense; (6) Chinese yam, Dioscorea oppositifolia; (7) Common buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica; (8) Common reed, Phragmites australis; (9) Crown vetch, Secutigera varia; (10) Common and cut-leaved teasel, Dipsacus fullonum; (11) Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolate; (12) Hydrilla, Hydrilla verticillata; (13) Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica; (14) Japanese hop, Humulus japonicas; (15) Japanese knotweed, Fallopia japonica; (16) Japanese stiltgrass, microstegium vimineum; (17) Johnson grass, Sorghum halepense; (18) Kudzu, pueraria lobate; (19) Leafy spurge, Euphorbia esula; (20) Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora; (21) Musk thistle, Carduus nutans; (22) Old world bluestems, Bothriochloa bladhii and B. ischaemum; (23) Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria; (24) Reed canary grass, Phalaris arundinacea; (25) Sericea lespedeza, Lespedeza cuneate; (26) Spotted knapweed, Centaurea maculosa; (27) Tall fescue, Festuca arundinacea; (28) White and yellow sweet clover, Melilotus officinalis and M. albus cc. Wintercreeper, Euonymous fortune.
Whenever private property abuts a public right-of-way or easement belonging to the City of Maryland Heights, or any public entity, and there exists in such right-of-way or easement a tree lawn or grassy area between the private property line and the edge of the street pavement, then such tree lawn or grassy area shall be considered, for purposes of this Section requiring cutting of grass and weeds, to be a part of the private lot which abuts the right-of-way or easement, and it shall be the duty of those responsible under this Section for the maintenance of the private lot to equally maintain the tree lawn or grassy area within the abutting right-of-way or easement, and all of the provisions of this Section shall apply with equal force and effect to said tree lawn or grassy area.
The Director of Planning or his/her designee shall give a hearing after four (4) days' notice thereof either personally or by United States mail to the owner or owners, or his/her or their agents, or by posting such notice on the premises; thereupon, the Director of Planning or his/her designee may declare the weeds to be a nuisance and order the same to be abated within five (5) days. If the weeds are not cut down and removed within that five-day period, the Director of Planning or his/her designee shall have the weeds cut down and removed and shall certify the costs of same to the City Clerk. Upon receiving the City's certified cost of abatement, the City Clerk shall cause a special tax bill against the property to be prepared and to be collected with other taxes assessed against the property. The special tax bill from the date of its issuance shall be a first lien on the property until paid and shall be prima facie evidence of the recitals therein and of its validity, and no mere clerical error or informality in the same, or in the proceedings leading up to the issuance, shall be a defense thereto. Each special tax bill shall be issued by the City Administrator/Clerk and delivered to the Collector for St. Louis County on or before the first day of June of each year. Such tax bills if not paid when due shall bear interest at the rate of eight percent (8%) per annum. Costs for collecting the tax bill, including attorney fees, may be charged in the event a lawsuit is required to enforce a tax bill.
If weeds are allowed to grow, or if trash is allowed to accumulate, on the same property in violation of an ordinance more than once during the same growing season in the case of weeds, or more than once during a calendar year in the case of trash, the City may, without further notification, have the weeds or trash removed and the cost of the same billed in the manner described in Section 215.100(C) above. The provisions of this Subsection (D) do not apply to lands owned by a public utility and lands, rights-of-way, and easements appurtenant or incidental to lands controlled by any railroad.