Leaves in Street Can Land Residents a $200 Fine
City sending warning letters, asking for compliance.
The city’s Engineering Department is taking a more aggressive approach to residents who rake leaves into the street instead of placing them on the tree lawn, sending letters to infractors that could lead to a $200 fine.
City Engineering Manager Joe Reitz has been vocal about the potential for leaves to cause dangerous road conditions as well as clogging the storm sewers, which can lead to water backing up into basements. This past week, the city sent out letters to offenders advising them they have three days of receipt of the letter to remove the leaves from the street.
Reitz said with some of the publicity the issue has received, the city has had neighbors calling in offending neighbors.
“The City of Avon Lake Engineering Department has received complaints of leaves and grass clippings being raked into the roadway in front of your residence,” the letter begins. “These leaves create a safety hazard to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. Additionally, the leaves can create flooding into the roadway and can cause City storm sewers to become blocked.
“We felt this year we’d be a little more aggressive,” Reitz said. “We’re asking for compliance.”
He said with such a wet spring, the problem has been exacerbated with storm sewers backing up into homes. The city has received dozens of complaints of flooded basements since February of this year.
“Leaves are considered an illicit discharge per the current NPDES guidelines in the City Codified Ordinances, section 1061 which could result in fines being assessed,” the letter said.
The city can levy a $200 fine if the leaves are not moved and the letter ignored.
Reitz addressed the issue at the Nov. 7 council meeting.
Councilman David Kos suggested having evidence of infractions.
“If were going to take a more aggressive approach…it’s time, everyone’s aware of it,” Kos said, suggesting the city gets photos of each infraction “so it doesn’t turn into a he said, she said.”
Kos also wanted to maintain a list to see if there are repeat offenders each year.