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Noxious Weeds Ordinance


Genoa Charter Township ordains:

SECTION 1: Short title

(1) This ordinance shall be known and may be cited as Genoa Charter Township's Noxious Weeds Ordinance.

SECTION 2: Intent and Purpose

(1) The Genoa Charter Township (hereinafter, the "Township") Board of Trustees hereby determines that, under certain circumstances as set forth herein, the presence of tall grass and noxious weeds creates blight and constitutes a nuisance. It is recognized that such blight lowers property values, leads to deteriorating housing conditions, undermines the quality of neighborhood life, adversely affects the public health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of the community. This ordinance provides for the cutting and/or removal of grass, noxious weeds and miscellaneous debris, and to provide for the administration and enforcement of this ordinance.

SECTION 3: Definitions

(1) For the purposes of this Ordinance, certain words and phrases are defined as follows:
(a) Noxious Weeds - For the purpose of this article, weeds shall include, but may not be limited to Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), dodders (any species of Cuscuta), mustards (charlock, black mustard and Indian mustard; species of Brassica or Sinapis), wild carrot (Daucus carota), bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), perennial sowthistle (Sonchus arvensis), hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana), giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica), ragweed (Ambrosia elatior 1), poison ivy (Rhus toxicodendron) and poison sumac (Toxicodendron vernix).
(b) Tall Grass means weeds, grasses and undergrowth higher than ten inches (10") from ground level.
(c) "Owner" and "occupant" means any person or entity with any ownership or possessor right or interest, including deed holders and land contact vendees (whether recorded or unrecorded), mortgagees, lessees, tenants, residents and any agent of any of the foregoing.

SECTION 4: Regulations

(1) Destruction required. The owner and occupant of land on which noxious weeds are found growing shall destroy such weeds before they reach a seed bearing stage, or a height of ten inches (10"), whichever occurs first, and shall prevent their re-growth; provided that this requirement shall not apply to any incidental noxious weeds in fields devoted to growing any small grain or vegetable crop.
(2) Height restrictions. The owner and occupant of the following described lands shall keep tall grass thereon cut to a height of not more than ten inches (10"):

(a) Urban Residential zoning district
(b) Suburban Residential zoning district located in a platted subdivision or site condominium
(c) Lake Resort Residential zoning district
(d) Manufactured Housing Park district (excluding Mobile Home Parks)
(e) Developed Commercial and Industrial parcels along Grand River

SECTION 5: Exceptions

(1) This ordinance shall not apply to the following:
(a) Agricultural Crops.
(b) Vegetation in woodlands or wetlands.
(c) Areas within the required twenty-five (25) foot undisturbed natural setback from MDEQ determined/regulated wetlands, as specified in section 13.02.04 of the Township Zoning Ordinance.
(d) Weeds in fields devoted to growing any small grain crop such as wheat, oats, barley, or rye.
(e) Parcels owned by public utilities.
(f) Publicly owned lands.
(g) Flower or vegetable gardens

SECTION 6: Notice

(1) The Township shall attempt to notify the owner, agent and/or occupant of any parcel or lot subject to this ordinance, on which either noxious weeds or tall grass are found growing by certified mail with return receipt requested. The notice shall describe methods of treating and eradicating the noxious weeds, if applicable, and shall contain a summary of the provisions of this Ordinance. Failure of such owner, agent and/or occupant to receive such notice shall not constitute a defense to any action to enforce the payment of any penalty provided for or debt created under this ordinance.

(2) In addition to or in the alternative to the notice described above, the Township may publish a notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county during the month of March providing that either noxious weeds and/or weeds, grasses and undergrowth higher than ten inches (10") from ground level ("tall grass"), not cut by May 1 of that year may be cut by the Township and the owner of the property may be charged with the cost thereof as provided in this ordinance.

SECTION 7: Enforcement & Cost Recovery

(1) If, within ten (10) days after notice, as provided in section 6.1, or after publication of the notice as provided in section 6.2, the owner, agent or occupant of any land upon which noxious weeds or tall grass are growing, has failed to destroy the noxious weeds, cause such noxious weeds to be destroyed or has failed to cause such weeds, grass or brush to be cut down, destroyed or removed, the Township may enter upon the land and destroy the noxious weeds, cause them to be destroyed or cut and/or cut down the tall grass. Mechanical equipment which will not damage the property or any adjacent sidewalk may be used to destroy and/or cut the noxious weeds and to cut the tall grass.

(2) Any expense by the Township incurred in such destruction or cutting shall be paid by the owner or owners of such parcel, and the Township shall have a lien against such parcel for such expense, which lien shall be enforced in the manner prescribed by the general laws of this State providing for the enforcement of Tax Liens.

SECTION 8: Penalties

(1) In addition to the assessment of cost as provided in section 7.2, any person who violates the provisions of this ordinance shall be guilty of a civil infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $100.00.

(2) Each day that a violation exists, or continues to exist, shall constitute a separate offense.

SECTION 9: Severability

(1) This ordinance and various parts, sections and clauses thereof are hereby declared severable. If any part, section, paragraph or clause is adjudged invalid, it is hereby provided that the remainder of the ordinance shall not be affected thereby.

SECTION 10. Effective Date

(1) This ordinance was adopted by the Township Board of Trustees at the regular meeting held on November 3, 2014 and ordered to be given publication in the manner required by law. This ordinance shall be effective upon publication.

On the motion to adopt the Ordinance the following vote was recorded:

Yeas: McCririe, Skolarus, Rowell, Smith and Ledford
Nays: Mortensen
Absent: Hunt

Township Board First Reading: October 20, 2014
Date of Publication of Proposed Ordinance: October 26, 2014
Township Board Second Reading and Adoption: November 3, 2014
Date of Publication of Ordinance Adoption: November 9, 2014
Effective Date: November 9, 2014