Letter: City council discriminates with grass ordinance

To the editor:

We know that being on the city council is a hard and difficult job — trying to accomplish something and be equitable, fair and just. Sometimes there are unintended and unforeseen consequences. We think this is one of those cases.

We think the council members were so wrapped up about trailers and RVs, they missed the point that in Ordinance 13-28 section C the stated problem being addressed was the overgrowth of grass, that the overgrowth of grass is the problem — not the trailers and RVs. This is obvious as they did not include other common items of similar size in the ordinance that have the same potential to have grass grow under and around them.

Americans have adopted, for the most part, the European model of lawn use, that is that the front lawn is the showpiece of the home. The front yard is to be free of clutter, and made pleasing to the eye. The side yard is optional. Some include the side of the home as part of the show piece and some consider it part of the back yard. Under the European common standard of property use the back yard is reserved for lifestyle pursuits. That is why stables, barns, hobbies and recreational pursuits are relegated to the back yard. This is why governments in general specify the front line of the house, signifying a line that they should not violate except only in the extreme necessity.

There are three issues out of several we wish to address at this time.

  1. The council singled out trailers and RVs when there are lots of other things that grass can grow around and under. Section C is not needed as we already have an ordinance that pertains to overgrown grass regardless of any other factor.
  2. The council forgot or didn’t consider human nature. In this case, citizens who maintain their lawns do so because it is part of their character to do so. Also they would not tolerate vermin to gather on their property. That is, if their character compels them to keep a well cut lawn they will not let grass grow under or around their trailers or RVs.
  3. Section C presumes that if a citizen has a trailer or RV they will let grass grow under and around said trailer or RV. No citizen should be punished for a presumption of future behavior.

Section C should be repealed because it punishes otherwise law abiding people who mow the grass under their trailers and RVs.

Section C presumes that a citizen is deemed worthy of punishment for the sole reason that he has a trailer or RV parked on grass.

The city has a grass ordinance, and therefore section C is unnecessary, discriminatory to owners of trailers and RVs, and therefore should be repealed.

Claude and Elizabeth Tate