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All across Park Forest, residents are mowing their grass and planting their gardens as winter is behind them, and the sunny, warmer days of spring and summer lie ahead.
Village Code Enforcement Manager Jerry Martin says now is a perfect time to remind residents about the violations they can receive for allowing lawns to get too long.
"The most frequent code violation we receive during May and June -- partially at the end of April if the weather is warm -- is tall grass complaints," Martin said. "Village code requires that the grass height not exceed eight inches."
Martin said that the Building Department responds to these complaints by issuing warning notices advising the property owner that the grass height exceeds eight inches and needs to be mowed within a reasonable amount of time.
If the property is vacant, the Village assigns the property to be mowed by a contractor every two weeks at the beginning of the mowing season and every three weeks from the beginning of August for the remainder of the season.
Martin added that occupied properties where the homeowner does not respond to a warning notice, or communicate with the Building Department after receiving a notice, could be issued citations.
"If residents receive a warning notice for a grass height violation and may need extra time because of extenuating circumstances, for example, the lawn mower broke, or they are trying to find a new lawn care professional, they should call the code enforcement inspector who sent the notice," Martin said. "We want to work with our residents."
Martin explained typically, the Building Department will issue a warning. However, if the tall grass ordinance is violated - violators could receive a citation of up to $750.
Martin said senior citizens in need of assistance locating mowing services are advised to contact Rich Township Senior Services at 708-748-5454.
Martin said he expects that the number of vacant properties requiring mowing will decrease as abandoned properties are re-sold after the abandonment process is completed. For more information on the abandonment process, click here.
For questions regarding lawn mowing as required by Village ordinance, contact the Building Department at 708-283-5611.