Most Corvallis citizens consider out-of-control weeds and brush a hazard and an environmental nuisance since they contribute to allergies and, through their seeds, the growth of additional weeds. The Fire Department is also concerned with the fire hazard created by dry vegetation during the summer months. The hazard level can quickly become extreme during hot, dry weather.
The Corvallis Municipal Codes addresses this concern by requiring that all weeds and grass be kept under 10" in height from June 1 through September 30 and by requiring that combustible waste material and debris be removed from property.
During this period, the City’s part-time fire prevention assistant devotes all of his time to the investigation and resolution of weed and vegetation obstruction reports. Out—of—compliance lots, tree limbs, and shrubs are identified by various City personnel (street sweepers, firefighters, police, and water meter readers) during the course of their regular duties. Because the cost of extensive patrols would be prohibitive, the department also relies on reports from Corvallis residents.
The Fire Department uses reminder letters and investigates all complaints received to pursue the enforcement of these Ordinances. Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of their properties (including parking strips along streets) and are subject to civil penalties of up to $100 if they do not comply. An owner is given fifteen days in which to have the property mowed, at which point the City will issue a civil penalty for non-compliance and will contract for mowing services. The property owner is then responsible for paying the costs of mowing, plus an administrative charge.
And the outcome? A safer, more inviting and attractive community for all of us to enjoy! Residents can email reports or questions to Weed.Abatement@corvallisoregon.gov or call 541-766-6973.