If the city of Lakewood mows the lawn of a negligent property owner, the price may be going up.
Under current ordinance, the city charges $100 per hour to visit a property with out-of-control vegetation.
But a proposed change, introduced to on Monday, would increase the fee to $200 per visit or the actual cost of the visit — whichever is higher.
“When a property owners is put on notice that they’ve haven’t cut their grass, we give them time to mow their lawn,” said Lakewood Law Director Kevin Butler. “When they don’t, we have the option to send in a crew to cut the grass, and we can charge the owner.”
In a letter to city council, Jennifer Pae, the , said that the change would “eliminate the imposition of minimum defined costs of abatement in favor of actual costs.”
Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development — who also oversees the city’s building and housing department — said that city spends about $200 per visit on average.
The change would save the city money, he added.
A tally of the number of such calls in 2011 was not immediately available.
“It’s a big problem for the people who live next door to a house that’s not being maintained,” Siley said. “We want to make sure everybody is being a responsible owner. If not, sometimes we have to step in and take care of it.”
City council referred the measure to its finance committee for further review.