High Grasses & Weeds

The Manheim Township Police Department is tasked with enforcing the local ordinance governing High Grasses & Weeds

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§ 277-1. Restrictions on growth.

A.  Any weeds, and any vines, grasses or other vegetation (not including bushes and trees) which are not edible and are not planted for a clearly useful or ornamental purpose, which exceed six inches in height on any improved property or 12 inches in height on any unimproved property in Manheim Township are hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety, cleanliness and comfort of the inhabitants of the Township.

B. It is unlawful for any person or persons or any partnership or association or any corporation owning or occupying land or lands in Manheim Township to permit any such weeds, vines, grasses or other vegetation to grow or remain on any lot or tract of ground in Manheim Township, except on the following lots or tracts of ground:

     (1) Agricultural property uses.
     (2) Wetlands in developed and undeveloped areas, whether natural or constructed.
     (3) Woodlands.
     (4) Public rights-of-way and easements.
     (5) Public parks.
     (6) Government-owned lands.
     (7) Best management practice facilities designed to meet the requirements of the Manheim Township Stormwater  Management Ordinance.
     (8) Riparian buffers and riparian forest buffers planted to comply with the specifications outlined in the Manheim Township Zoning Ordinance and the Manheim Township Stormwater Management Ordinance.

C. Noxious weeds as defined by the Pennsylvania Noxious Weed Control Law are prohibited on any property in Manheim Township.

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§ 277-2. Notice of violation; abatement.

A.  Notices of violation of this chapter shall be sent by Manheim Township to the owner and occupant of any such lot or tract of land by:

     (1) Sending written notice of violation by certified and first-class mail to the address of the owner of the property and to the last known address of any person or persons or any partnership or association or any corporation listed as owner and to the lending institution or its agent for foreclosed properties.

     (2) If the certified mail and first-class mail are returned as undeliverable, by leaving written notice of violation on the premises either by handing such notice to an adult in charge of the premises or by affixing a copy of the notice to the premises at a conspicuous place thereon.

B.  The notice shall specify the nature of the violation and shall require abatement of the violation within 10 days of service of the notice of violation.  Upon cause shown, the Township Police Department may extend the abatement period by 10 additional days and shall document such extension in the Police Department report.

C. The owner/occupant of any property, or in the case of foreclosure the lending institution or its agent, shall receive one notice of violation per season.  Future violations during the same season shall be issued citations without further notice.

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§ 277-3. Failure to comply; work performed by Township; costs.

A.  In the event the owner or occupant or lending institution or its agent shall refuse or neglect to abate such nuisance within a period of 10 days or any extension thereof, the Township may cause such weeds, vines, grasses, or other objectionable vegetation to be removed, keeping an account of the expense of inspecting the premises, service of the notice, and abating the nuisance.  All such costs and expenses shall be charged to and paid by the owner or occupant.

B. Alternatively, the Township may cause the abatement of the nuisance by suit in equity.  In such event, the owner or occupant shall be liable for all costs and attorneys' fees incurred by the Township.

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§ 277-4. Collection of costs and expenses.

A.  All costs and expenses incurred by the Township in the abatement of such nuisances shall be a lien upon the premises; and whenever a bill therefor remains unpaid for a period of 60 days after it has been rendered, the Township may request that the Township Solicitor file a municipal claim for such costs and expenses, together with a penalty of 10% thereon, in the manner provided by law for the collection of municipal claims.

B. Alternatively, the Township may request that the Township Solicitor file an action in assumpsit for collection of the amount due, including attorneys' fees and costs, without filing a municipal claim.

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§ 277-5. Violations and penalties.

Failure to abate any such nuisance in accordance with the requirements of the notice issued under § 277-2 shall constitute a violation of this chapter, and such violator, in addition to payment of the costs and expenses referred to in § 277-3, including attorneys' fees, shall, for every such violation, be subject to a fine or penalty of not less than $100 per day nor more than $1,000 plus costs and any attorneys' fees incurred in the prosecution of such violation.  Each day's continuance of a violation of any provision of this chapter, after the expiration of the 10 days referred to in § 277-2, shall constitute a separate violation punishable by a separate fine or penalty.