Silver Lake considering increase in penalty for uncut grass and weeds

Photo by Mary K. Baird via

Silver Lake may be getting tougher on property owners that do not cut grass or weeds before they get too long.

The Village Board Monday heard a first reading of an ordinance that would allow the village to impose a $500 fine in addition to the cost of having the property mowed for violators of the six-inch grass/weed maximum length. Each day the property was in violation would count as a separate violation and could result in a $500 fine, explained Trustee Barbara Ironside, who is proposing the ordinance change.

The current ordinance allows the village to cut grass on property that is too long and then attach the charge to the property’s tax bill.

However, that was not enough to deter violators, Ironside said. She hopes the potential for a substantial penalty under the new law will provide more of a deterrent.

“We’ve got to hit them some place,” Ironside said. “Now the police can go out and do something about it.”

The ordinance change received a first reading Wednesday To become law, it will undergo a second reading and vote, likely at the next Village Board meeting.



  1. chris skrzynecki says:

    “We’ve got to hit them some place “???? ” Now the police can go out and do something about it.” ???? Just what the police department needs, another ordinance to enforce. Like they don’t have enough to do. If you are that concerned about tall grass and weeds, why doesn’t the village contract with a LOCAL landscaping contractor, ( this could be bid out ) and just tell him to drive around the village each week , ( While he’s already there, hence LOCAL contractor) and make a list of ” Tall Grass” offenders. ( Read- Free list gatherer) He can while he’s there solicite the work independently, ( I believe people can still knock on the door and ask for business, or is that against the law in Silver Lake?, ) For those who don’t take him up on his offer, He can then submit the list to ( Fill in the department head that you want to take time out of their day to do this. HERE) and they can confirm that the resident is indeed in violation. The resident can then be notified that they have seven days to take care of the Tall Grass. After that the LOCAL contractor can mow the Tall Grass and submit the bill to the town for a monthly check. If the town wants to add a service fee then so be it, but to FINE a person $ 500. for ” Tall Grass” is ridiculous. This is how Silver Lake wants to assit the their citizens if they are having trouble getting things done? For the record, I don’t live in Silver Lake. And this is just one of the reasons that I woudn’t want to. Chris Skrzynecki Resident of the Town of Salem
    What’s next? 6″ of snow in the drive way?

  2. John Capra says:

    I read this yesterday and my first thought was I would never buy a home in Silver Lake, is tall grass or weeds the biggest issue in your community? Just what we need – more laws and more government control over our lives. What next? our elected officials determine if our homes color is appropriate? or if it needs paint? What adds to this is the fact that the medians on our state highways have grass and weeds often over 2 feet high – they cut that mowing out of their budget because of the tough fiscal times. How about we let our law enforcement officers focus on the drug dealers and drunk drivers?

  3. A Home Owner in Silver Lake says:

    Its about time that they start imposing a fee. I cut my grass once a week and keep my house looking nice and not looking like a pigstii. I pay very high taxes and when pepole around my house dont cut there grass for weeks on end, it makes my house look like crap. If it was up to me i would charge 1000.00 per day and make u pay for the city to come out and cut it. U pepole need to get off of ur rear ends and stop being LAZZY!!!!! And the two pepole that posted before me GOOD, DONT COME TO SILVER LAKE IT U DONT LIKE THAT WE HAVE A LOT OF RULES. U TWO MUST HAVE A OVER GROWN FOREST IN UR YARDS!

  4. chris skrzynecki says:

    To the home Owner in Silver Lake who declined to identify himself, Why? My lawn is mowed every week, sometimes more with the rain we have been having. This isn’t about tall grass, it’s about goverment getting involved with penalizing their own residents instead of trying to help them. What’s wrong with just mowing it for them and sending out a bill? Why doesn’t the town hire a kid to do this all summer? Or maybe an out of work construction worker. Put somebody to work, not FINE some one out of their home. And since you ” Know ” that YOUR neighbors are LAZY, why don’t you find out why they don’t mow their lawns. Maybe she’s widowed or sick or just older and can’t stand the heat. It’s been a pretty hot summer don’t you think? Or their mowers broke and they can’t afford to fix it. A little compassion goes along way. Try it. Again, Chris Skrzynecki A resident of The Town of Salem

  5. chris skrzynecki says:

    Continued: Just one more thing. Salem has rules. Just this year we passed an ordinance about the very things we are talking about here. Keeping your property in shape and presentable. However, as I have been told by our very vocal town chair, Linda Valentine, the town will show restraint and compassion when they are notified of a violation of the ordinance. Working with an owner to bring the property into compliance is much more productive than immediatly fining them $500. a day.One example is a house on AH. They have been given time to work out a plan to bring their property into compliance. I will admit that our ordinance has provisions to fine people on a daily basis, but i’ll wager, you will never see us charge somebody $500 for not mowing the lawn. Chris Skrzynecki

  6. admin says:

    I feel like I should point out, having witnessed the public discussions of this issue by the Village Board, that the properties they are targeting are almost all vacant homes that are not being kept up by whoever is responsible for them — banks, real estate companies, etc. — Darren H.

  7. chris skrzynecki says:

    Darren, Agreed, we are problaby blowing this out of purportion but, It’s things like this that when they are put on the books to take care of vacant or absentee owners these ordinances inevitably will be used on the lowly ordinary resident that is going through a rough time. So no matter what the goal is, the long drawn out view must be looked at. Chris S.

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