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Killeen cracking down on lawn maintenance

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Herald/MARIANNE LIJEWSKI

Grass blades tower high in a yard Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Killeen.

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Spring is just around the corner.

With warmer temperatures, Killeen residents will have to maintain their yards more often — or face a penalty if they don’t.

According to the city’s code of ordinances, it’s unlawful for residents to allow weeds, grass or brush on two acres of land or less to exceed 12 inches in height.

The ordinance also prohibits weeds, grass and brush on property larger than two acres from exceeding a height of 12 inches on land within 50 feet of a public street or adjacent to an occupied residence or business.

Lee Watts, the city’s code enforcement supervisor, said the regulations are in place to ensure public health and safety, and to make sure properties are maintained to a minimal standard.

“Tall grass and weeds attract and provide harborage for disease-carrying pests, insects, rodents and vermin,” he said. “High grass and weeds also allows for more rapid spread of fire.”

Watts said if a resident or business owner neglects to maintain their property in specification with the ordinance, the city has the authority to intervene.

“The city may take administrative action to enter the property, correct the violations and bill the owner for the abatement,” he said. “If an abatement action bill goes unpaid, the city may place a lien on the property.”

Code enforcement also has the authority to issue a ticket to the tenant or owner of the property for failure to comply with the code.

The ordinance in its entirety can be found on the city’s website — killeentexas.gov — in Chapter 18 of its code of ordinances.

Contact Natalie Stewart at nstewart@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7555

4 images

Herald/MARIANNE LIJEWSKI

Grass blades tower high in a yard Tuesday, May 7, 2013, in Killeen.

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