Code Talk

Let's Talk Weeds
April showers bring May flowers…and weeds!
With the start of spring, our lawns and gardens will start to come back to life, and before we know it, they will start to grow like, well …weeds! In the past, some property owners have not kept their properties as tidy as the law requires. Of all the nuisances reported to the Town, weed complaints are among the most numerous each year.

Town ordinance requires property owners to keep grass and weeds cut to less than 8 inches in height. Anything taller than that is prohibited and, if left unabated, can be mowed by the Town at the owner's expense. 

It's not just about aesthetics, taller grass and weeds can provide a breeding ground for all manner of vermin, from mosquitoes, chiggers and ticks to mice and snakes. Many of these pests can carry diseases that can affect humans and pets. In addition, most of the pollens that cause allergic reactions come from trees, weeds and grasses. And lastly, taller grass and weeds dry throughout the season, and create a very serious fire hazard.

Vacant properties, agricultural roadsides, and rental properties are often a problem. The Community Service Unit deals with some property owners year after year. Property owners or occupants are ultimately responsible for lawn maintenance. The strips of grass between sidewalks and Town streets are a common problem area as well, as there can be confusion about who is responsible for maintenance. Although the land near roadways typically is covered by Town right of way, it falls to the property owner or occupant to keep the grass and weeds trimmed—this includes along all sides of the property. 

When a complaint is made, or a property is found to not be in compliance, the Community Service Unit will issue and post a ten (10) day notice to mow the property. The property will be re-inspected after 10 days have passed. If no other action has been taken, the Town can call in a mower to cut the grass. The bill is then charged to the property owner, and can be collected as part of their property tax bill. In the case of properties without a residence, officers will send a notice (by mail) to the property owners listed on the county assessor’s website. To file a complaint, please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222.

Choose the Path of LEASHED Resistance! 
At first glance, The Town of Frederick Municipal Code, regarding the use of leashes for dogs may be a little “ruff” to understand. For dogs on their owner's property, or on the property of another who has given permission, the ordinance requires that dogs stay on that property by means which prevent the dog from crossing into any public way. This can be accomplished several ways, including, but not limited to; the use of a leash when in the presence of a person, a fence, an underground electronic barrier with a transmitter collar worn by the dog, or voice control of a competent person. 

For dogs off their owner's property, the ordinance explains that they must be restrained by a leash 15 feet or shorter. To summarize, all dogs must be leashed unless they are on private property. The exception would be when visiting the Town of Frederick Dog Park located at Milavec Lake! 

It is important to note that leashes don’t exist just to be a buzzkill, they’re an important safety tool. They protect the safety of humans and non-humans alike, and we all need to take responsibility for the use of them.

 A person charged with a dog running at large violation for the first time, or second time within a three-year period, may at the discretion of the charging officer, be eligible for a mail-in plea of guilty, not requiring a court appearance.  Residents of Frederick holding a current dog license issued by the Frederick Police Department (either at the time of the violation or having purchased the dog license prior to entry of the guilty plea by mail) are eligible for the early pay option.  The early payment option carries with it a $75.00 fine, $25 surcharge and $50 impound fee per animal. Dog running at large is designated a noncriminal violation; therefore not subject to incarceration upon conviction and not entitled to a trial by jury.  Any person convicted or pleading guilty to this charge may be fined an amount not to exceed $1,000. Please contact non-emergency dispatch at 720-652-4222 to report off-leash dogs causing unease and stray dogs as well.