South Bend to consider 17-fold increase in tall grass fines


By: Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The city of South Bend is considering boosting tall grass fines by 17-fold to $350 to help send a message to property owners that overgrown lots are unacceptable.

The Common Council on Monday will debate a proposal to increase the fine for first offenses from $20 to $350, and as much as $1,500 for subsequent offenses.

Grass would also be limited to nine inches in height.

Code Enforcement Director Randy Wilkerson says South Bend issued 3,600 tall grass citations in 2013 and 4,400 last year, many of those for repeat offenders.

A companion resolution encourages the city to employ local youths to mow abandoned lots, a task now handled by the Parks Department.

Council President Tim Scott tells the South Bend Tribune “the Parks Department can’t do it all.”