City to start twice-monthly enforcement of long-grass ordinance May 1

According to the city ordinance, grass and weeds found exceeding 8 inches in height on the first or third Wednesday of each month from May to October will be mowed by city crews, and the cost of mowing will be assessed to the property owner.

April showers have brought local lawns to life, so Perry residents should note the changes that will take effect May 1 in the city of Perry’s ordinance for grass and weeds.

Under the city’s new uniform height specifications, the previous 6-inch height limitation for grass, weeds or brush on residential, commercial and industrial properties is replaced by the following limitations:

  • In residential areas, grass, weeds and brush shall not exceed 8 inches.
  • In commercial and industrial areas, grass, weeds and brush shall not exceed 8 inches.

The 15-inch height limitation for grass, weeds and brush on agricultural property within the city of Perry remains unchanged under the revised ordinance.

The new ordinance will be in effect from May 1 until Oct. 31.

Along with the new heights, the city is beginning a new method of notifying out-of-compliance property owners: a standing notice of twice-monthly inspections, which promises to save time and keep the city tidy.

Under the old ordinance, if grass or weeds were found exceeding the permitted height, a notice was generated and mailed to the property owner, giving the owner a set number of days to mow the grass and bring the property into compliance.

The process of individually mailing notices was not only slow but in a healthy growing season, by the time the property owner mowed the lawn or, more commonly, the city mowed it, the grass and weeds often exceeded 12 inches. Grass that tall was hard on city-owned mowers, and debris hidden in the overgrown grass sometimes damaged the mowers.

Under the new ordinance, the city’s compliance officer will inspect all properties within the corporate boundaries of Perry — whether occupied or vacant — on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Properties with grass, weeds or brush exceeding the allowed height limits will be mowed on the spot by the city of Perry, and the property owners will be charged a fee.

If payment is not received, the cost will be assessed to the property and collected in the same manner as general property taxes.

According to the ordinance, its purpose “is to beautify and preserve the appearance of the City by requiring property owners and occupants to maintain grass lawns at a uniform height within the boundaries of their property and on abutting street right-of-way in order to prevent unsightly, offensive or nuisance conditions.”

For more information about the new ordinance, call the Perry City Hall at 515-465-2481.


  1. Maybe if the city is gonna be big brother and tell property owners how to take care their property, then maybe they should pay the property taxes as well. I agree with the last comment. There are many other things that are more important besides someone’s lawn, such as the junk yard out by Peter’s gas station and the growing junk yard on the 141 Diagonal road that Monakee from Dawson owns and other places

  2. Agreed with everyone! If the city of Perry doesn’t have anything to do, then they might as well not do anything at all. There are far more important things that need fixing in Perry, such as the bathrooms in Pattee Park and Wiese Park that are always dirty, the junk yard at the end of W. Ninth, the new junk yard that’s growing on 141 Diagonal Road, the junk yard on First Avenue by the Motor Parts. Come on! Maybe the city should start paying my taxes and mortgage. Fight the crime that is happening in Perry, kids breaking car windows, the drug dealers dealing drugs to children. That’s what needs to be taken care of in Perry, not lawns!

  3. Ummm, I don’t get what you people’s issue is with this. Just mow your lawn. Simple as that. The city DOES have to enforce this because about 25 percent of the houses in Perry would have 6-foot-tall prairie land in their yards. Grass needs to be cut to keep the rodent, insect and pet population down. Not to mention the snakes. I know it’s your right to keep YOUR property any way you like, blah, blah, blah, but the people who live next door wouldn’t appreciate all the extra mice and snakes and mosquitoes as well as your abandoned-looking property with knee-high grass making the rest of the block look like crap. Seems simple . . . Mow your lawn.


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