Under District of Columbia Municipal Regulations Property Maintenance Code, District property owners (both residential and commercial) are required to prevent grass and weeds on their property from growing more than 8 inches tall. In fact, failing to do so could lead to fines of $500- or more. The code states that all exterior property and premises be maintained in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition.
The city regulates several types of excessive vegetative growth including weeds, grasses, kudzu, poison ivy, oak, sumac, plants with obnoxious odors, and any other causing hay fever. Regulations require that these weeds be cut after no more than seven days of growth.
Grass Enforcement Season
May 1st through October 31st is grass enforcement season. If a property is inspected and in violation for excessive vegetation (growth more than 8 inches), DCRA allows the owner seven business days to respond and comply before mowing the property’s lawn. If there is no response, a re-inspection is conducted. If the violation still exists, DCRA will decide to abate. Abatement can take up to four weeks after the initial inspection. The District will clean a property (mow property lawn and remove vegetation) and issue fines to the property owner. The fine (cost of the abatement) is determined by the number of employees and equipment used, and total time spent at the property.
Why is grass height so important?
Excessive vegetation growth can have serious public health implications. Tall grass can trigger respiratory problems for folks with asthma or allergies. Plus, overgrown weeds can create a breeding place for mosquitoes, rats, mice, snakes, and other vermin.
For more information regarding this and other District Regulations go to: https://dcra.dc.gov/page/grass-weed-regulations
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