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In the Weeds

Barth Engelman, of Madison, reads in the abundant sun among dandelions gone to seed at Warner Park Beach last spring.

Q: Does Madison have any lawn care requirements?

A: Madison has a few lawn care requirements in its Code of Ordinances. The most relevant to homeowners is likely the requirements relating to grass height.

Grass must be kept at a height shorter than 8 inches.

Grass grown more than 8 inches can earn the property owner a fine of $172 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses are $298.

Before a person is fined, though, the city will mail an official notice to the homeowner, who then has about 10 days to mow the lawn, according to the city’s website.

What can be planted

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There are some regulations regarding what can be planted, according to the Code of Ordinances. Plants that can be poisonous to humans — such as poison ivy and wild parsnips — or can cause environmental damage — like leafy spurge — are classified as noxious plants and are not allowed on Madison properties. Should they be found, the ordinance requires the plants be destroyed.

Other issues

Madison’s Code of Ordinances also requires that properties be clear of garbage, physical hazards and rodent infestations.

Should unsanitary conditions like these be found on the property, a notice would be mailed to the owner.

If the property is not cleaned within the specified time frame, a fine of $172 would be issued for the first offense. All following offenses would incur a $298 fine.

— Shelley K. Mesch

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Send questions to: justaskus@madison.com; Just Ask Us, P.O. Box 8058, Madison, WI 53708.

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