Can You Make Your Neighbor Legally Cut Their Lawn in Sioux Falls?
I think at one time or another, we have all lived or maybe still live on a block that has "that guy." I am referring to the person who utterly neglects their home.
They cut the grass about a total of three times if you're lucky during the summer, and they rarely, if ever, shovel during the winter months.
Basically, I am talking about the house with the yard that is a refrigerator or two short of the salvage yard home used in the TV show Sanford & Son from the 70's. (Those of you not alive in the 1970's, Google it, you'll see what I mean.)
There's typically one person on every block that ends up being a lazy a-hole. You know, the one neighbor whose eye-sore home brings down the property value of every other home in the neighborhood. Yep, "that guy!"
Have you ever wondered if you can blow the whistle on "that guy" in Sioux Falls?
Come to find out you can in some cases. That is if you have the guts to play the role of the narc on the block.
Given that I am writing this article during the summer months, let's say you have that slug of a neighbor who refuses to cut his or her grass.
During a normal summer, when we're not living on the surface of the sun and actually getting some rain, their yard might begin to resemble an African jungle by the end of June.
If you're beginning to worry that you might get attacked by Jaguar while walking your dog by "that guy's" yard. There is a number to call here in Sioux Falls to report "that guy's" property to the city.
Actually, the city recommends you do notify them of any property that is being neglected. Your complaint will fall under the Nuisance Vegetation home enforcement code.
Any yard or lot within Sioux Falls city limits that has grown 8 inches or taller and contains “state classified noxious weeds” like; (Canada thistle, Russian knapweed, hoary cress, purple loosestrife, perennial sow thistle, leafy spurge, and salt cedar) qualifies.
Sorry, but the yard filled with an inordinate amount of dandelions does not. Dandelions are not considered noxious by the state.
The city asks that you give them the address of the home in question and as much additional information as possible when filing a nuisance complaint.
So what happens after a nuisance complaint is made?
A city weed and mowing enforcement inspector will take a look at the property in question. If it checks all the correct boxes, "that guy" will receive a letter notifying them of the violation. The property owner will then be given 7 days to correct the violation. If they fail to get off their lazy ass in the alloted time, the city will send out a hired contractor to mow the property. Then your lazy neighbor will receive a bill for the mowing service, along with a city issued citation.
You should know, the city will only send out one letter per year. If further complaints are filed throughout the rest of the summer, the city will NOT issue additional notifications to the property owner. However, another hired contractor will be sent out to mow "that guy's" yard again at his or her expense.
Now you know the legal recourse should you choose to be "the guy" who blows the whistle on the "that guy" neighbor.
Let's just hope "that guy" hires little Timmy down the block to finally mow his or her yard before you have to pick up the phone and be "the guy" that makes the dreaded call.
Source: City of Sioux Falls