Keep the grass short, Bayport; Amended code also addresses threes and shrubs

Bayport's amended vegetation ordinance requires residents to keep their grass under six inches tall.
Bayport’s amended vegetation ordinance requires residents to keep their grass under six inches tall.

Bayport residents must keep their grass cut or face a misdemeanor citation after a change to the city’s vegetation ordinance approved by the city council June 9.

The amended ordinance says grass and weeds must not be allowed to grow taller than six inches. “This is a standard in other cities,” City Administrator Logan Martin said.

The ordinance also deals with other vegetation, such as shrubs, trees and certain types of wood that could become a public health or safety hazard, or a public nuisance.

In addition to defining maximum grass height, the code amendment also requires tree limbs to be at least eight feet above the surface of a public sidewalk and 15 feet above a street or alley. To maintain visibility, vegetation on corner lots must be no higher than two and a half feet near the intersection.

Because of the potential for spreading pests, bark-bearing elm and ash wood logs or firewood may not be stored between April 1 and Sept. 15. Storage of such logs is declared a public nuisance under the new code.

The ordinance also prohibits noxious weeds, hazardous or diseased trees, accumulations of yard waste and vegetation in jeopardy of falling on a structure or the property of another.

Violators of the code will be notified of the violation, and the property owner will have seven days to comply with code related to grass height and 20 days for tree violations.

If the owner fails to comply, the city may complete the work and charge the cost to the owner.

The city council unanimously approved the ordinance amendment. “It’s unfortunate that sometimes we have to add ordinances to make these things happen, but I think overall it’s probably a good guideline,” Mayor Susan St. Ores said.

In other business, the city council:

• Adopted a business subsidy policy defining goals, tools and requirements for business subsidies of more than $25,000. The policy does not require the city to give subsidies. The policy was needed in order for Bayport to serve as the conduit for a $625,000 award to Andersen Corporation from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Andersen plans to use the money as part of an $18 million expansion.

• Ordered a feasibility report to consider extending city sewer to a property at 239 First Ave. S. and nearby properties. The feasibility report is expected to be presented July 7, along with an improvement public hearing.

• Updated the city’s fee schedule.

Contact Jonathan Young at [email protected]