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Avoid the nuisance, help keep community looking good

Summer time brings the smells of fresh mown lawns and flowers. Summer time can also bring complaints of nuisances which may exist in the residential and commercial areas of the city. City staff is responsible to notify property owners of the need to abate a nuisance. Once notified the property owner is given a set period of time to remove the nuisance. If the nuisance remains beyond the deadline city staff may cite the property owner into court. The city staff may also use city resources or a contractor to remove the nuisance and bill the property owner for the work performed. A property owner can be cited multiple times for the same offense if the nuisance is allowed to remain beyond a 48 hour period.

15-0302. Nuisances Prohibited - Persons Defined. No person, as owner or occupant of any lot or tenement, shall cause or permit any nuisance to be or remain in or upon any such lot or tenement or between the same and the center of the street or alley adjoining. For purposes of this title, the term "person" includes, where relevant, corporations, unincorporated associations, or other legal entities.

The following are different items that can be termed a nuisance: garbage; noxious weeds; junk; junk automobiles; abandoned vehicle; building materials; demolition materials; earth material; hazardous waste; trash and rubbish. Other nuisance can include: pumping sewage onto the open ground; maintaining areas that allow harborage for vermin (rats, mice, skunks, raccoons); failing to clean up animal waste; throwing garbage in public places; stockpiling rubbish or garbage within the city; failing to drain standing water.

Grasses or non-noxious weeds can be declared a nuisance if they are allowed to grow more than eight inches (8") in length upon or along the line of any railroad, street, highway, alley, public place, along or upon any vacant or other lot or place within the city. Again it is the property owner's responsibility to maintain their property. Failure to properly mow can result in the property owner being cited into court. The city may also mow the property and assess the property owner costs for the work performed.

Trees and hedges may be declared a nuisance when they create a hazardous condition.

15-0306. Trees and Hedges as Traffic Hazards - Nuisances. Hedge, Tree, or Growth - When a Nuisance. Any hedge, tree, or growth of any kind or character maintained on any property in the City of West Fargo, so located or of such height as to constitute a traffic hazard by obstructing the view of the driver of any vehicle upon the streets of the city to the extent that such driver is unable to readily observe the approach of other vehicles on the streets, alleys, and at intersections, or which is likely, because of its location or height, to cause accidents or injury to any person, is hereby declared a nuisance and offense. This would include low hanging branches extending over public walkways.

Take some time to look over your property to make sure you are in compliance. If you see something in your neighborhood that you feel requires attention please call the West Fargo Police Department 433-5500 or West Fargo Public Works 433-5400 and report your observation. We can all work together to keep our community looking well maintained.