Appendix B, "Department of Code Compliance," Article II, "Code Compliance," Division 3, "Nuisances," of the Code of the City of Fort Worth Texas (2015), as amended, reflects the City's desire to reduce and abate environmental, health, zoning and housing nuisances. The Texas Health and Safety Code provides that the governing body of a municipality may require the owner of real property in the municipality to keep the property free from weeds, brush, and select conditions constituting a public nuisance.
Code Compliance is recommending amending Appendix B, Article II, Division 3 "Nuisances" to add a new section to regulate nuisance vegetation. Nuisance vegetation is known to harbor rodents and other disease-carrying pests which may be innately harmful to people and property. Nuisance vegetation creates fire hazards to structures and nearby properties. Nuisance vegetation has been known to conceal criminal activity. Nuisance vegetation may also diminish property values and the appearance of a neighborhood, diminishing any incentive for others in the neighborhood to maintain their own property, thus creating a self-perpetuating cycle. Nuisance vegetation includes rank and uncultivated brush, trees, undergrowth and other plant life.
By adopting this amendment, the Code Compliance Department will be able to better regulate nuisance vegetation to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the residents. Enforcement action can be taken against property owners who fail to maintain their property in accordance with the ordinance. Enforcement action includes Municipal Court citations with a fine not to exceed $2,000.00 for each offense. The Code Compliance Department may also take properties in violation to the Building Standards Commission to request orders to abate the nuisance vegetation and lien the properties for the cost of abatement.
This M&C does not request approval of a contract with a business entity.