Massena village amends grass code following hearing that drew concerned comment
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 9:16 am

By ANDY GARDNER

MASSENA — A public hearing on a change to the village code governing grass, brush and weeds to include standing water regulations drew a resident’s opinion that the village should increase the maximum length of grass before the code office steps in.

On Tuesday, the village board voted 3-0 to amend the code to “include legislation regarding standing bodies of water on land or lots, the ability for the village to remove standing water and the number of days notice required prior to the village entering land or lots to cut brush or weeds and remove standing water.”

Mayor Tim Currier was excused from the meeting to coach basketball. Trustee Tim Ahlfeld, a New York Power Authority employee, was excused for work.

Massena resident Doris Robinson, a senior citizen, said she wanted the board to change the requirement in the existing code the grass be kept at no taller than six inches. She said those not able to cut their own grass sometimes have trouble hiring help. The village can mow the lawns of those in violation and then bill the property owner for the work.

“Could you go a little bit more than that?” “Some of us … have trouble finding people to cut,” Robinson said.

Deputy Mayor Matt Lebire, running the meeting in Currier’s absence, said that would require a separate process.

“If we want to change the length requirement, we would have to do a separate public hearing with a separate code change request and put that to the public … Which I’m not saying we’re opposed to,” Lebire said. “We can’t change it tonight for this particular code change because that would basically void the public hearing.”

“I think the purpose of this change isn’t to change the height of the grass, it’s to change the notice from two days to … five, and it’s also to deal with the standing water. People have a swimming pool in their backyard … they for some reason leave the property and the pool becomes infested with mosquito and bugs,” Trustee Francis Carvel said.

Lebire suggested the board’s code committee might be able to meet and come up with something for the future.