Ordinance may combat overgrown lots in Alabaster

The Alabaster City Council is considering changes to a city ordinance addressing overgrown properties in the city. (Contributed)

The Alabaster City Council is considering changes to a city ordinance addressing overgrown properties in the city. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

Alabaster City Council members may make changes to the city’s property maintenance ordinance to crack down on high weeds and overgrown lots throughout the city.

Council members discussed possible changes to the ordinance during a June 5 work session, but said they were not ready to put the matter on the agenda for the council’s June 9 council meeting.

The city’s current ordinance only addresses weeds and overgrown lots on pieces of property with structures, said City Attorney Jeff Brumlow. The council is considering amending the ordinance to cover all “plotted pieces of property.”

“I tried to exclude agricultural properties and properties that are in their natural state,” Brumlow said.

If the council approves the changes during a future meeting, it will define an overgrown lot as a lot with weeds or grass taller than 12 inches. Under the proposed ordinance changes, the city would notify a property owner of an overgrown lot, and the property owner would then have a set amount of time to address the problem.

If the property owner does not bring the property into compliance in the amount of time outlined in the notice, the city would have the authority to cut the property and charge the property owner for the work done.

Council members said they had not yet determined the amount of time they will give property owners to address the problem before city crews trim the property, but said it likely will be five or 10 days.

Council President Scott Brakefield said Montevallo had some issues with right of entry onto properties after passing a similar ordinance recently, and council members said they planned to study Alabaster’s proposed ordinance for a few weeks in an attempt to avoid similar problems.