If You Can't Do the Time, Don't, uh, Put off Mowing?

Here in the west, one can be rewarded as an environmentalist for keeping one's home landscaping natural, rather than trying to create a golf-course-like lawn.  In Canton, Ohio, you may be going to jail (via a reader):

CANTON City Council has unanimously approved
toughening the city's high-grass and weeds law, making it possible for
repeat violators to get jail time.

Council passed the legislation Monday night by a vote of 12-0. The amended law will take effect in 30 days.

The revised law makes a second high-grass violation a
fourth-degree misdemeanor, which carries a fine of up to $250 and up to
30 days in jail. Existing law makes the first violation a minor
misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $150 but no jail time. Violators
initially are mailed a notice and given five days to mow the grass.

City officials say they are targeting the most egregious
violators of the high-grass law, which applies to grass and weeds
higher than 8 inches.


  1. ArtD0dger:

    Rewarded for natural landscaping? Uh, not so much here in Colorado. We have this wretched system of home owners' associations whereby the biggest busybodies get put in charge of deciding how everybody's lawns shall be tended. Golf-course-like grass seems to be completely compulsory in the large majority of them.

    Here in Boulder there is an amusing tension between environmentalism and petty collectivist authoritarianism. Older neighborhoods without an HOA are sometimes xeriscaped, but in the HOA neighborhoods the authoritarians seem to be winning hands down.

  2. Highway:

    We have this wretched system of home owners' associations whereby the biggest busybodies get put in charge of deciding how everybody's lawns shall be tended.

    More like the biggest busybodies put themselves in charge of deciding. I tried to be on the HOA board, and made it by apathy for a year, but couldn't handle the amount of 'let's tell people how to live their lives, because my property down the street might lose some value if theirs has a different color door than it has now...'

    Talking with some people of a more natural mindset, if you showed them a yard full of weeds and a yard that was closely trimmed and 'pretty' by suburban standards, they'd always point to the cut one as inferior.

  3. SD Mojo:

    Probably also a law requiring that yards have grass....

  4. Gringo:

    Another area in which the HOA nazis and environmentalists/ rational people clash is with regards to clotheslines. Many HOAs forbid outside clotheslines, which means that more energy is used in drying clothes by machine than by sunlight.

  5. Stephen Macklin:

    I haven't cut my lawn in 3 weeks. Two weekends ago we had a birthday party and there was no time. Last weekend it was too hot. I figure I'm doing my bit to fight global warming by not pumping all that CO2 out of the lawn mower and the taller grass is pulling additional CO2 out of the atmosphere. Plus, I hate mowing the lawn.

  6. John Moore:

    Uh... right here at home, Paradise Valley imprisoned a resident for letting weeds get too high. You don't have to look as far as CANTON.

  7. Noumenon:

    These high-grass laws are just barriers set up to keep poor people from moving into the neighborhood. Same with number-of-occupants and clotheslines. You gotta at least be able to afford a mower, a dryer, and single-family occupancy or you can just stay in the inner city.

    At least I hope that's it, because the idea that Americans actually care about other people's lawns enough to put them in prison would make us a nation of disgusting little tyrants.