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Newport News Now

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Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

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Jun 21

Reporting Tall Grass in Newport News

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 7:55 AM by Communications Department

What is the process and when should you call?

During this time of year, with warm weather and increased rainfall, grass grows quickly and in abundance. There are a few key things to note before making the call to report tall grass in your area to the City.

Grass is considered tall when it is exceeds 10 inches in height. In order to cite the property owner, the inspector must be able to see the violation from the right-of-way. For example, if the tall grass is behind a privacy fence and isn’t visible from public property, it cannot be cited as inspectors cannot go onto private property without permission of the property owner.

When a complaint is filed, the inspector goes out within three to four days to inspect, depending on their current workload. If a violation is seen, legally a notice must be sent to the property owner giving them 10 days to cut the grass. This must be done once every growing season. Further violations during that growing season do not require notifications. The inspectors set a date to go back and check again.
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If the grass is cut, great. If not, inspectors can then turn it over to Public Works’ Community Maintenance Division to cut it. Community Maintenance receives all grass complaints in the city in addition to being responsible for cutting medians and some city property, so they are normally running at least two weeks behind. After they cut the grass, a lien is placed on the property for the cost plus an administrative fee. It can easily be several hundred dollars each time the grass is cut by the city.

City property grass is cut by both Community Maintenance and contractors. Contractors cut the grass every two weeks. All vacant lots are not owned by the city – some are owned by private owners and if this is the case, it must go through the process outlined above.

To report tall grass near you, for questions or for more information call 757-933-2311 or email