As warmer weather and seasonal rain approaches the Hiawatha Community Development Department would like to remind our residents of our policy regarding tall grass and weeds.

The Hiawatha City ordinance 50.02 (9) requires property owners to keep grasses and mowed so that grass and weeds are less than 8 inches in height. This includes the individual lot, along with parking adjacent thereto, alleys, public ways or areas up to the centerline of said ways. The following special abatement procedure is applicable, in addition to any other procedure, to the control of weeds.

City Ordinance 50.08 recognizes this article as posting public notice to all citizens.

  1. Notice Provided.  The enactment and posting and annual posting of this section on or before May 1 each year shall constitute notice of its provisions to all property owners to comply with the terms thereof, and such notification shall be construed as due notice as required by Section 364.12[3h] of the Code of Iowa.

The City has been granted authority to abate tall grass and weeds. When the City receives a complaint regarding tall grass, we are allowed to have it removed without further notice.

  1. Removal by City.  In the event that any property owner fails to comply with such notice by May 15 of any given year, then a person duly designated by the Mayor or City Administrator shall destroy or remove any such weeds as defined in subsection 50.02(9) of this chapter without further notice.

The removal authority continues without further notice throughout the summer. If the City mows the lawn once we are allowed to maintain the lawn without further notice.

  1. Subsequent Deadline of Notice.  June 1, July 1, August 1 and September 1 are subsequent deadlines for additional cutting of such weeds, but said annual posting of this section shall be deemed due notice for all subsequent deadlines.  The intent of this subsection is to require the removal of weeds a minimum of every 30 days from May 1 through October 1.

The property owner is responsible for all costs incurred by the City for the removal of tall grasses and weeds.  

  1. Costs Assessed.  When the duly designated person has completed the abatement of any such nuisance after any deadline as established herein for the abatement of a public nuisance under the provisions of this section, such person shall certify the costs and expenses thereof to the Clerk, who shall notify the property owner of said costs by ordinary or certified mail.  Any assessments unpaid 30 days after levy shall be certified to the County Treasurer for collection in the same manner as other special assessments.

Thank you for your help in keeping Hiawatha beautiful.  By maintaining the grass and weeds to the required height it will eliminate the need for City action and abatement procedures. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the Community Development Department at 319-393-1515.