Pasco Code Enforcement to focus on overgrown lawns, lessening fire hazards

PASCO, Wash. — On average, Pasco’s Code Enforcement Department gets 2600 calls from residents, a year.

“Everybody wants to live in a clean city that’s well ordered, so the need is there,” Mike Gonzalez, the City’s Economic Development Manager said.

The agency recently posted on Facebook, saying they’re going to focus on properties with grass over 12 inches tall.

Their concern is that tall grass will die, dry out and become a fire hazard.

“Those are cases that happen every single year that our fire department has to respond to, that our police department then has to enforce those laws, again we try to mitigate that before it ever happens,” Gonzalez said.

They’re also looking out for vacant or abandoned properties, where lawns have gone untouched.

“Those can become a real danger, if somebody throws a cigarette or lights something up it becomes on fire and before you know it, it can go to an adjacent neighbor and you have a really big problem.”

Gonzalez said Code Enforcement’s goal is to educate residents before slapping them with a fine. They want to prevent people from letting their lawns turning into a tinderbox.

“First thing we do is we listen, then we learn and then we legislate and figure out what to do,” he explained.

He said often times, officers find the owner was unable to do yard work.

“We go there and it’s an elderly person that doesn’t have the means or physicality to mow their lawn, so we’re able to connect them to services,” he said.

Gonzalez also encourages people to reach out to their neighbors if they notice overgrown or unmaintained lawns.

“Look out for your neighbor, make sure you know what’s going on with their situation before you call us and when we need to inject ourselves into the equation we’re more than happy to do that with our investigative team and hopefully come up with a solution,” Gonzalez said.

The City of Pasco also has an app called ‘Ask Pasco,’ that can be downloaded from your device’s app store. The City’s website also has a Pasco Good Neighbor Handbook that’s available in English and Spanish.

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