Overgrown Weed Calls Hit Seasonal Spike for Codes Department

Published 07/08 2014 05:24PM

Updated 07/08 2014 10:22PM

By Monica Yantosh

LUBBOCK, TX -- The City of Lubbock Codes Department said now is the time of year when they typically see a spike in calls about overgrown weeds, and so far this year, that is the case.

Since March 1st, the Codes Department said they have received 4,000 complaints and found about 3,500 violations related to overgrown weeds.  They attribute that to the recent rains the city received, resulting in some people needing to mow repeatedly.

"They get to it, you know, because they're busy, and I understand that, but it's just an eyesore," Michael Cadenhead said.  He lives near an area in downtown Lubbock where there are two lots that are overrun with weeds.

When it comes to weeds around the city that are not obviously at someone's home, the city said there are a few different people who could be in charge of the property.

The areas around I-27, Loop 289, and the Marsha Sharp Freeway are all TXDOT's responsibility.

There are other properties that do fall into the City of Lubbock's responsibility. The Director of the Codes Department, Stuart Walker, said some of those properties fall to his department, while there are places that become another department's responsibility.

For instance, Walker said, Parks and Recreation, the Cemetery, and Streets are just a few departments that will be in charge of weeds. Walker said if someone calls either 311 or the weeds hotline with a complaint about a property that belongs to one of those departments, the complaint will get passed on.

"Basically, we let the inspectors notice them in their daily rounds," Walker said about the areas Codes is in charge of. "There are numerous properties that are owned by the tax office or that are abandoned or that are owned by the city or state."

He said often, calls about places all over the city, regardless of who they belong to, will go to his department. From there, he makes sure the person in charge gets the message.

"Like abandoned property, some of the, some of the properties that we were talking about that are owned by other governmental entities, they're not, they're not on a regular schedule, so they just go through my system, and as an inspector notices that they need to be mowed, they get re-entered into the system and go through," Walker said.

The number to complain about weeds is 775-2290.  Walker estimates it could take about three weeks from the time a complaint comes in before it is taken care of, just with the process and the number of properties that need to be mowed by their contractors.

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