Overgrown grass and weeds become concern for Amarillo residents
Overgrown grass and weeds are becoming a growing concern for some Amarillo residents as well as the City of Amarillo.
There's no shortage of reasons the City asks property owners to keep their land maintained - to prevent a mosquito or rodent infestation, eliminate fire hazards, and simply for aesthetic reasons. But one local business owner feels the City may not be enforcing its code strictly enough.
"I always keep my vegetation here nice and clean," said Nabil Dia, owner of Parkview House Bed and Breakfast in Amarillo. But, he added, that's not always the case for his neighbors.
"Across the street from us are rental, especially on the corner. We are always having trouble with it. We already lost some customers. They pull up and say sorry, we're not going to stay here. We're not comfortable with this place."
The City of Amarillo does have a code requiring property owners to maintain their land. Those who violate it will be issued a notice, and then charged for services if it's not addressed.
"We have inspectors that canvass the city as well as we'll take complaints over the phone," explained Scott McDonald, building official for the City.
Dai says he actually reported the property to the City three weeks ago, but still, nothing's been done.
"They still have to give them two weeks notice to come back but it's still too long," said Dia.
With more than 25,000 city service inspections for overgrowth in the past year, officials said they're just doing their best to keep up.
"With the volume of work that we have today and the number of contractors the City utilizes is a challenge," added McDonald. "So it may take a week or it may take two weeks for our contractors to get out and maintain or mow that property."
A backlog full of weeds that for some, may have grown too high for too long.
"If they City doesn't start taking care of some of that then they're not going to run customers off, they're going run me," said Dia. "I'm going to move to some other city where they take care of their residents."
The City has actually started leaving bright green door tags out on properties that are "at risk" of violating the code before they actually issue a letter of violation. That address will be noted and then inspectors will check it again after a certain period of time to see if it's been addressed. If the property hasn't been groomed by then, the City will begin its process to have the grass and weeds taken care of.