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Nibley gets tough on properties with nuisance weeds

October 10th, 2013 Posted in Opinion

By Mitch Henline

NIBLEY – The City Council has passed a new law governing weeds on private property that are considered to be a nuisance. The law passed 4-1, after much discussion. Under the new ordinance, the city would be allowed to contract with someone to remove weeds that have exceeded one foot in height. The city would remove the weeds only after it had given warning to the property owner, waited 15 days and issued a citation. The weeds would be removed if the property owner was still not compliant.

Council members had concerns about the city’s ability to enforce the new law objectively and fairly.

Councilman Thayne Mickelson was the sole member of the council that voted “no” on the ordinance. “I still think this is a less effective approach of dealing with this issue than a proactive approach and getting the word out,” he said. “So I’m opposed to this ordinance, but I understand the need.”

Before the ordinance was voted on, the council was concerned that the word “weed” was open to too much interpretation and could make the ordinance difficult to enforce. Councilman Larry Jacobsen proposed an amendment to clarify the ordinance to say “weeds that constitute a nuisance.” The council was unanimous on voting on the amendment.

City manager David Zook explained some of the reasons behind the ordinance, and said it is about more than just noxious weeds. “They (noxious weeds) are not the only reason we have a nuisance ordinance,” he said. “It’s also a fire hazard which doesn’t matter what kind of weed it is. If it gets dense and long and dry, it could also be a fire hazard. It’s also the aesthetic aspect as well.

Lands that are considered to be a part of agriculture production would be exempt from the new ordinance.

NW

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