Kevin O’Brien’s peaceful Riverview street is a little too quiet for his liking. He’d prefer to hear the sound of a lawnmower coming from the neighbours who live behind his home.
“It hasn’t been mowed since October and, like I say, some of the grass is three feet high,” he said.
A chain-link fence separates the two backyards, leaving O’Brien with a clear view of the tall grass.
“Everybody has to blow their driveway or shovel their driveway and everybody has to mow their lawn,” he said.
“It’s all part of the deal.”
The Riverview man is concerned about his home’s resale value and said he’s been complaining to the town for a number of years about the neighbours’ backyard.
Not that simple
Jennifer Greene and her husband own the home behind O’Brien’s. While the front yard is mowed and orderly, she realizes the backyard needs some work.
“We’re almost as stressed as he is,” she said referring to O’Brien.
‘The town doesn’t have the authority to intervene.’
“It’s not like we don’t want to do it.”
Greene said there are two barriers that make it difficult to cut the tall grass.
During last winter’s ice storm, large branches were cut and left behind by NB Power and a rainy spring left the ground pooled with water.
In the 10 years the family has lived in the house, the town has sent one letter asking the yard be mowed.
Greene said the work was done right away.
Long grass isn’t illegal
But according to Meghan Walsh, the communications co-ordinator with the town, “tall grass in and of itself is not covered under the bylaw.”
She said if a complaint is received, the town can send a letter to the residents, letting them know there is an issue.
“More often than not [the resident]
is happy to comply once the issue has been raised,” she said.
“We send on average about 15 of those letters forward.”
But if the non-mowing resident refuses to cut the grass, the town will not step in.
Safety would be only issue
“The town doesn’t have the authority to intervene,” Walsh said.
However, Riverview does have a maintenance and occupancy bylaw.
“It allows the town to intervene when a safety concern is presented on private…