Code Talk

They Say it’s a Jungle Out There… (but it doesn’t have to be).

As the weather warms up, the unwanted growth of weeds continues to sprout up. Summer is a hectic time of the year for our community service officers when residents and business owners do not stay on top of keeping their lawns and landscape under control. Section 7-33 of the Frederick Municipal Code on “Growth or accumulation of weeds, brush prohibited; exceptions” reads:

“No owner, lessee, agent, occupant, or person/entity in possession…shall permit or maintain on any such lot or tract of land or along the sidewalk, street, or alley adjacent thereto any growth of weeds to a height greater than eight (8) inches.”

Currently, our community service officers also have a growing stack of warnings that have been issued to residents. Each year, our Public Works Department goes through a lengthy abatement process where workers enter a property to cut the lawns and fields themselves. Warnings and abatement involve a large amount of paperwork and time for both public works and the police department. And landowners are not happy when they receive a bill afterward for the work done on their behalf.

The police understand it is not always convenient for people to cut and maintain their lawns. However, when weeds become excessive, invasive species can bloom and cause issues for other locations nearby. Last year we had a major problem with different types of thistles, including Cirsium and Spear thistles. If not attended to quickly, their seeds can spread into nearby agricultural lands, causing crops to become worthless for farmers.

So please do your part and keep the weeds to a minimum and your land in compliance. As always, we’re here if you need guidance or have questions about any of our ordinances. 

Regards,

Sergeant Ian Albert

Junk Vehicles

Sorry to tell you this, but it’s junk. Broken down, unsightly vehicles parked in driveways, streets and sometimes front lawns can be a common problem in our neighborhoods. No one wants to live next to that dismantled ’82 Oldsmobile that’s leaking oil into the street and missing several parts from its undercarriage. Section 8-22 of the town municipal code defines a junk vehicle as:

“Any vehicle which does not bear valid or unexpired license plates…is wrecked, damaged, or substantially dismantled to the extent of being inoperable…or being incapable of being moved under its own power in its existing condition or does not have inflated tires.”

We do recognize that cars break down and people need time to save up for and schedule the repair. Section 8-24 outlines the rules in which a person may store a junk vehicle:

  • The vehicle is located in a lawfully zoned vehicle repair/storage business.
  • The vehicle is stored within a completely enclosed structure.

The maximum of one vehicle per lot of real property shall be permitted provided that:

  • The vehicle is covered with a one-piece opaque heavy tarp or commercial car cover that covers the entire vehicle and is securely fastened at all times and is parked in the rear yard or in the driveway.

Please remember that the goal of our code ordinances is to help keep our town appealing to everyone and to maintain a community where we can all enjoy thriving. We understand that bad things happen from time to time. The Frederick Police Department will work with you during these hardships. However, it’s essential to do your part in keeping our neighborhoods looking their best by getting these problems fixed quickly.

Barking Dog

Woof...woof...woof. We’ve all been victim to it. We’ve all had to deal with it. A dog is barking at everything and nothing for hours on end. The constant disruption in our quiet evenings causes unwanted stress that no one needs. Handling a barking dog call is something that our Frederick Police Department Community Service Officer (CSO) deals with daily. The Frederick Police Department would like to work with the community to keep these complaints to a minimum. This month’s Code Talk reveals the three steps to deal with a barker.

Per Section 7-122 of the town municipal ordinance, a person is in violation when “…an owner or keeper of any animal fails to prevent the animal from disturbing any person by barking, howling, yelping, or making any other audible sound…”

When our CSO’s are dispatched to a barking dog call, the standard procedure is for the officer to park in the area nearby with the windows rolled down and listen. The officer can then verify that the problem is occurring. Once they hear the barking, the CSO will confirm the address for the noise complaint. The officer will check to see if that residence has received a warning for a barking dog violation within the past 12 months. If so, then a summons will be issued. If not, then the resident/dog owner will be issued a written warning for the violation. A notice will be left on the door if there is no answer.

If you feel the need to contact the police regarding a barking dog, here are some steps to take that will make our job more efficient:

Verify the location of the barking. As mentioned above, people assume that the barking is coming from the house next door when, in fact, it was coming from behind their home on a different street altogether.

Be kind to dispatch when you speak with them. Our dispatchers have stressful jobs and deal with a lot of people who are going through crises. They are not the ones who are responsible for the barking. Be respectful.

Be patient with the officer handling the call. Often these calls come out at night and when the CSO’s are not on-duty. As a result, the request goes to the patrol officers. It is quite possible that patrol is handling a more urgent call at the time and the barking dog call may have to hold for a bit.

We understand that barking dogs can be a nuisance when it comes to our quiet, small-town living. And we want to continue to work with the community to keep these complaints to a minimum. We only ask that you work with us to provide the best information you have on the matter and to be patient with us while we work to correct the violation. To report violations of the ordinance, please contact Weld County Communications at 720-652-4222.