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WEED CONTROL AND ABATEMENT

 

Please refer to Article 2 of the Zoning Regulations for general definitions.

 

Any owner, agent, occupant, or person in possession, charge or control of any lot or ground or any part of any lot, within the unincorporated villages and subdivisions of the County of Douglas, upon which shall be allowed or maintained any growth of twenty-four (24) inches, or more, of noxious (defined in paragraph 2) and/or nuisance weeds (defined in paragraph 3), shall be guilty of maintaining a nuisance and an official notice shall be issued to the owner.  In case of noncompliance with the notice, the Weed Superintendent shall arrange for the noxious and/or nuisance weeds to be cut and destroyed and the owner shall be advised of costs incurred.  The cost of any such control shall be at the expense of the owner.  In addition, the Weed Superintendent shall thereupon file in the County Register of Deed’s office an official notice of pending special weed control assessments against the property where noxious and/or nuisance weeds were cut and destroyed. In addition to the payment of the actual cost of any such control for noncompliance of nuisance weeds, additional penalties may also be assessed.  

 

As used and applied in this section, noxious weeds shall mean and include:  Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense),  Musk thistle (Carduus nutans), Plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides), Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa), and Diffuse knapweed (Centaurea diffusa), Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria,Lythrum virgatum, and all hybrids and cultivars) and any other weeds designated as noxious by the NE Department of Agriculture.

 

As used and applied in this section, nuisance weeds shall mean and include: bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), puncture vine (Triculus terrestric), perennial peppergrass (Lepidium draba), Russian knapweed (Centaurea pcris), Johnson grass (Sorghum halepense), quack grass (Agropyron repens), perennial sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis), horse nettle (Solanum carolinense), bull thistle (Cirsium lanceoatum), buckthorn (Rahmus sp.), (tourn) hemp plant (Cannabis sativa), rag weed (Amborsiaceae), Horseweed (Conyza canadensis L.), Marshelder (Iva xanthifolia (Nutt.), Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense L.), Kochia (Kochia scoparia L.), Velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti  Medic.), Curly Dock (Rumex crispus L.), Pennsylvania Smartweed ( Polygonum pensylvanicum L.), Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus L.), Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.).

 

It is understood that the use of native, sustainable plant materials is encouraged for general landscaping and the use of said plant materials should not be determined to be a nuisance. Furthermore, native, sustainable plant materials will be utilized for natural open space areas like those that are to be protected from development under conservation design and those that are utilized as an integral part of stormwater best management practices.  In these cases proper assessment of the function and intent of said plant materials must be made since some of these plant materials will likely be in excess of 24 inches in height and might therefore otherwise be classified as a nuisance weed.

 

GROWTH OF NOXIOUS AND/OR NUISANCE WEEDS PROHIBITED

 

It shall be the duty of each owner, agent, occupant, or person in possession, charge or control of any lot, or ground, or any part of any lot within the unincorporated villages and subdivisions of the County of Douglas to cut such lot or ground, together with one-half of the streets or alleys abutting thereon, of all noxious and/or nuisance weeds.  Such noxious and/or nuisance weeds shall generally be cut as close to the ground level as possible and shall be maintained so that the noxious and/or nuisance weeds do not extend twenty-four or more inches above the ground. 

 

As indicated in the previous section, the use of native and sustainable plant materials for open space areas and other general landscaping, and in conjunction with appropriate stormwater best management practices, is encouraged.  When properly utilized and maintained, said plant materials should not be considered a nuisance weed and subject to abatement under this regulation.

 

DUTY TO CUT NOXIOUS AND/OR NUISANCE WEEDS

 

Whenever it is brought to the attention of the Weed Superintendent that noxious and/or nuisance weeds are, permitted to grow to the height of twenty-four (24) inches or more, the Weed Superintendent shall issue a written notice to the owner or owners of the property, instructing the owners to cut and destroy the noxious and/or nuisance weeds.  The notice shall specify:  That the noxious and/or nuisance weeds shall be cut by the owner or owners within a period of ten (10) days from the receipt of the notice.  In case the owner or owners fail to comply with the notice within the time specified, the Weed Superintendent, or an authorized agent of the County, shall arrange for the noxious and/or nuisance weeds to be cut and destroyed; and the owner shall be advised of costs incurred. The cost of any such control shall be at the expense of the owner.  In addition, the Weed Superintendent shall immediately cause to be filed in the Register of Deed’s office notice of possible weed control assessments against such property upon which the control measures were used.  If unpaid after a period of 60 days, the Weed Superintendent shall report the unpaid costs to the County Board, who then shall certify to the County Treasurer the amount of such expense and such expense shall become a lien on the property upon which control was taken.  The County Treasurer shall add such expense to and it shall become a special assessment upon such land and shall bear interest at the same rate as taxes.

 

ADDITIONAL PENALTIES

 

In addition to the payment of the actual costs as provided in the Section above and other sanctions as may be imposed by law, any person who fails to cut nuisance weeds as required by this Regulation, shall pay the following penalties:

  1. For the first violation of noncompliance, a penalty in the sum of $75.00;
  2. For the second violation of noncompliance at the same location, a penalty in the sum of $150.00;
  3. For the third violation of noncompliance and each subsequent violation thereafter at the same location, except as provided herein below, a penalty in the sum of $300.00.


Provided, that in the event a violation for noncompliance occurs within 24 months of two prior violations at the same location, the penalty shall be $500.00 for such violation. 

 

In the event any person fails to pay the penalty, the Weed Superintendent may assess such penalty upon the property in the same manner as special assessments, or may sue any such person or persons in any court of competent jurisdiction for the amount of the penalty due and payable under the terms and provisions of this section, and may recover judgment against such person or persons for the amount due, plus interest.

 

SERVICE OF NOTICE

 

The notice provided for in the above shall be deemed sufficiently served:  by certified U.S. postal delivery of the official copy thereof to the owner or owners of the property according to the records of the County Register of Deeds records with return receipt required; or by leaving the official copy thereof at the usual place of residence of the owner or owners. To the extent, applicable sections and any amendments thereto shall be complied with regarding such publications.  In event of refusal to accept delivery thereof, then such refusal to accept or receive delivery shall be deemed to and shall constitute receipt of such notice.

 

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH NOTICE

 

At the expiration of the time stated in the notice provided for above, if the owner or owners of the property fails or fail to comply therewith, the Weed Superintendent or an authorized agent of the County, may cause said noxious and/or nuisance weeds to be cut and destroyed and said noxious and/or nuisance weeds shall remain as specified in the Sections above. Costs and penalties will be assessed as specified in the Sections above.

 

PROPERTY LIABILITY - ASSESSMENT PLAN

 

At least once each calendar year after any cutting of noxious and/or nuisance weeds as above provided, the Weed Superintendent shall report to the County Board the description of the respective properties upon which any noxious and/or nuisance weeds were caused to be cut, sprayed or removed, the dates thereof, the respective names of the owners of the properties, and the costs (as specified in the Section above) to be assessed upon such respective properties for such cutting of noxious and/or nuisance weeds.

 

ASSESSMENT LEVY

 

The County Board shall, and it is hereby empowered to, levy upon the property upon which any noxious and/or nuisance weeds have been cut, sprayed or removed by direction of said Weed Superintendent, as provided for above, the above specified costs thereof, the same to be levied and collected in the same manner as is provided by law for the assessment and levy of special taxes and assessments.  The assessment levied shall become due, payable and delinquent fifty days thereafter and shall bear interest at the same rate provided by the Statutes of the State of Nebraska on interest on delinquent special assessments.  All said assessments shall be levied by Resolution and the County Clerk shall deliver a copy of said Resolution, with usual Warrant thereto attached to the County Treasurer, who shall collect the said assessment in the manner prescribed by law for collection of other special taxes and assessments.

 

PROTEST OF CHARGES

 

If any person is dissatisfied with the amount of any charge made against them by the Weed Superintendent for control work, they may, within fifteen days after being advised of the amount of the charge, file a protest with the County Board.  The County Board shall hold a hearing to determine whether the charges were appropriate, taking into consideration whether the control measures were conducted in a timely fashion.  Following the hearing, the County Board shall have the power to adjust or affirm such charge.


APPEAL OF PROTEST

 

Any person who, in accordance with the section above, is dissatisfied with the decision of the County Board for control work performed, may appeal the decision, and the appeal shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

OCTOBER 15TH TO MAY 1ST CLEARANCE OF NOXIOUS AND/OR NUISANCE WEEDS FROM PROPERTY - FUNCTIONS

 

It shall be the duty of every owner or occupant or person in control of any lot or parcel of ground within the unincorporated villages and subdivisions of the County of Douglas to cut, generally as close to ground level as possible and not over four inches above ground level, and to clear the same and one-half of the streets and alleys abutting thereon of all noxious and/or nuisance weeds throughout the period of October 15 to May 1 to eliminate the potential hazard of noxious and/or nuisance weed fires, and any such owner or occupant having control of any such real estate, who shall fail or neglect to comply with the provisions of this section within 24 hours after being notified to do so by the Chief of the Fire Department, a Fire Inspector, or any member of the Fire Department, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to the penalty hereinafter provided.  It is hereby made a function of the Fire Department to do everything possible to eliminate the hazard of noxious and/or nuisance weed fires.

Native and sustainable plant materials are encouraged for use in natural open space areas and in conjunction with appropriate stormwater best management practices.  Prescribed and controlled burning is a common method for maintaining said plant materials and the presence of minor noxious/nuisance weed infestations should not preclude such practices.

 

WEEDS NEAR LUMBER YARD, OIL TANKS OR OTHER FLAMMABLE MATERIAL

 

If there be a lumber yard, oil tanks, or tanks containing any flammable material in a wooden building, or any other flammable material upon any lot or parcel of land within the unincorporated villages and subdivisions of the County of Douglas, and near which there exists any noxious and/or nuisance weeds, throughout the period of October 15, to May 1, the Chief of the Fire Department may notify the owner or occupant, agent, representative or employee of such owner or occupant, to cut and remove the noxious and/or nuisance weeds from such real estate, as provided in the Section above.  Any such person so notified who fails or neglects to comply with the provisions of this section, within 24 hours after being so notified, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable as hereinafter provided.

 

VIOLATIONS – PENALTY

 

Any person who violates any of the provisions of this Regulation shall be guilty of a Class III Misdemeanor according to Nebraska Revised Statutes §23-174.  Each day such violation continues after notice of violation has been given to the offender may be considered a separate offense.

 

SEVERABILITY

 

If any section, sub-section, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, provision or part or portion of any section, sub-section, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase or provision of this chapter, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid or unconstitutional for any reasons, such invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect the validity or application of any other section, sub-section, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase, provision or part or portion of this chapter.

Original Adoption - August 16, 1966
Revised - October 22, 2002; Resolution # 869
Revised - March 18, 2008; Resolution # 159
Revised - November 19, 2013; Resolution # 836

 

 

 

 

 



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