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Property ordinances part of Larned public survey
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LARNED — Residents of Larned expressed concern over a lack of consistent enforcement with city property ordinances, according to a recent survey. The survey, issued by the Larned Tiller and Toiler newspaper, focuses on community revitalization efforts and factors that would make Larned a better place to live.

According to survey responses, areas that have been problematic involve properties in the city that have been neglected and have fallen into disrepair. Current property ordinances provide enforcement and penalties against property owners who fail to maintain their property.

Specifically, the municipal code states, “the city has the right under provisions relating to the control and eradication of certain noxious weeds,” (Section 8:36). The code continues, “It is unlawful for any owner, agent, lessee, tenant, or other person occupying or having charge or control of any premises to permit weeds to remain upon the premises or any area between the property lines of the premises and the center line of any adjacent street or alley, including but not specifically limited to sidewalks, streets, alleys, easements, rights-of-way and all other areas, public or private. All weeds as defined in Section 8.36.020 are declared a nuisance and are subject to abatement as hereinafter provided.”

According to the code, weeds relate to any of the following:

• Brush and woody vines shall be classified as weeds
• Weeds and indigenous grasses which may attain such large growth as to become, when dry, a fire menace to adjacent improved property
• Weeds which bear or may bear seeds of a downy or wingy nature
• Weeds which are located in an area which harbors rats, insects, animals, reptiles, or any other creature which either may or does constitute a menace to health, public safety or welfare
• Weeds and indigenous grasses on or about residential property which, because of their height, have a blighting influence on the neighborhood. Any such weeds and indigenous grasses shall be presumed to be blighting if they exceed 12 inches in height.

The ordinance requires weed notices be sent out when they exceed 12 inches in height anywhere on a lot. The owner/tenant then has 10 days to mow or the city will contract mowing of the property.

City manager Bradley Ellis said citizens need to be reminded of code enforcement but added that while enforcement should be firm, the city is willing to work with residents who are unable to maintain their property while meeting city guidelines.