WINSTON-SALEM, N.C.– People in the Happy Hills neighborhood of Winston-Salem say they’re tired of the city threatening fines for overgrown lawns, when the city does not appear to be keeping up some of its lawns to the same standards.
Tim Rhodes says for years he’s complained about city owned property along Liberia and Pitts Streets. City code says it is unlawful for lawns to grow over 8 inches tall.
This week when city inspectors posted a violation notice and threatened to fine a nearby private home owner for not meeting city code, Rhodes got upset.
“If you are saying we got to keep our yard cut then you got to keep your yard cut. That’s the bottom line. You got to practice what you preach,” Rhodes said.
Michelle Parrott has the same complaint saying the lot next to hers often gets waist-high.
“It’s like a double standard they will fine you for not cutting your grass yet they won’t cut their own,” says Parrott.
James Mitchell with Winston-Salem’s Vegetation Management Department says Neighborhood Services recently notified him that the lots in Happy Hills were not in compliance. Mitchell says it appears a newly hired contractor does not understand what and how the lawns should be kept.
“In this case the contractor is having difficulties understanding specifications and we are working with them on that,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell says he has notified the contractor and the yards should be mowed next week and kept in compliance or, “if they don’t meet specifications we have means to hire a new contractor.”
Winston-Salem officials say the city has hundreds of private lots to mow. It takes nearly 30 crews to keep them up and they try to mow every lot once a month, striving to stay in compliance with all city codes.