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Weed Abatement Questions and Answers

Weed Abatement Inspections Questions

Why did I receive a Notice for my vacant lot?

 

The notice is a courtesy reminder sent by the Fire Prevention Division to owners of vacant parcels within the City of Visalia reminding them that the cut down date is April 15th each year.

 

Starting on April 15th, the Fire Department will be conducting inspections on the vacant properties. Properties not in compliance with the City Municipal Code and the California Fire Code will be issued a citation and an official Notice of Violation for compliance. After 10 days, if the lot is still not in compliance, the City of Visalia will have its contractor abate the problem and the property owner will be billed.

 

Do I have a right to an appeal hearing?

 

Yes. If you protest the code as it pertains to your parcel, or if you want to request an exemption from clearing the property at this time, you must submit the appeal in writing to Visalia Fire Department Attn: Weed Abatement, 707 W Acequia, Visalia, CA 93291, explaining why it should be exempted. Parcels cannot arbitrarily be exempted.

 

What will happen if I do nothing to the property and don't request an appeal hearing?

 

The property will be cleared by the contractor and the property owner will incur all costs for the Abatement Procedure per Municipal Code 8.56.

 

How much will it cost to have the city clear my property?

 

The City's cost to clear a parcel will be high compared to what the cost would be privately. The cost of city abatements is set by a contract agreement. An Administrative fee is then attached to the contractor’s costs.

 

I no longer own the property, what do I do with the Notice?

 

At times, the records available are not always up to date. The notice is sent to the Owner of Record listed on the last county assessment roll. Please let Visalia Fire Department know immediately if you no longer own the property by calling (559) 713-4266. Any new owner information is appreciated.

 

Why do I have to clear alleys when it is City property?

 

It is the owner's responsibility to maintain his property extending to the center of the street or ditches, including parkways, sidewalks, alleys, easements, etc. in accordance with the state weed abatement requirements and City Ordinances MC 8.56.040 (B).

 

Why am I responsible for clearing when others are dumping trash on my property?

 

Per MC 8.56.040 the property owner is responsible for the maintenance of his/her own property at all times.

 

The lot next to mine is filthy and no work is ever done. Why?

 

The lot may not have been included in the Annual Weed Abatement Program because records indicated that a change in ownership was recorded after the Notice of Violation was issued.

To register a complaint regarding brush and weed issues, call the Weed Abatement Hotline at (559) 713-4207.

 

My neighbor has debris and trash on his property. Is this legal?

 

Not only can trash, brush, weeds, dead or dying trees, junk, debris and such be a fire hazard, it can also be a health hazard and a public nuisance. These conditions, in addition to being a possible fire hazard, can provide a place for rodents, vermin, flies and other pests to hide and breed.

 

Along with other City Codes, the Visalia Municipal Code prohibits the existence of any accumulation of waste paper, hay, grass, straw, weeds, litter, debris or combustible trash upon any roof or in any building, entrance way, court yard, vacant lot or open space; or of any weeds, grass, vines or other growth, when they endanger property or create a fire hazard. (See also MC Chapter 8.20)

 

Vines or climbing plants must be maintained and cannot obstruct or impair the access of fire protection equipment (i.e. hydrants, fire sprinkler parts, alarm boxes, etc.)

 

My neighbor has so much junk you can’t get to the backyard. Is this a problem?

 

Yes. For the purposes of emergency response, side yards should be kept clear and assessable. This also helps prevent fire traveling to your home in the case of a fire. MC 8.56.040 (B5)

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