Sykesville to fine builder, charge for weed-cutting Deadline missed at Hawk Ridge Farm SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

September 10, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The builder of Hawk Ridge Farm will have to pay Sykesville to hack off tall weeds on vacant lots in the 200-home development.

Powers Homes missed the town's deadline yesterday for cutting the weeds. Now, in addition to a fine, the builder will have to pay the town's mowing costs.

"We have to make [vice president Jeffrey] Powers realize that it will cost him more for the town to do this job," said Councilman Jonathan Herman. "We will charge him for overtime at comparable rates and equipment rental or bill him for a subcontractor's work."

He said he did not know how much the work would cost.

"We have never had a problem with a developer before," said Mr. Herman. "An individual property owner can usually get the job done in a few hours."

Nearly two weeks ago, the town followed its usual procedure and notified the property owner -- Mr. Powers -- that the overgrown weeds on vacant lots in the development at the north end of town were a violation.

"Our local ordinance says anything over 12 inches must be mowed," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher. "We notified the property owner and told him he would be subject to a maximum $200 fine for noncompliance."

Mr. Schumacher said he extended the deadline to 5 p.m. yesterday because of recent rainy weather. He planned to inspect the site and "do whatever the town ordinance allows."

Mr. Schumacher said he was also drafting a letter to the town attorney to see how the fine and mowing costs should be collected.

Mr. Powers did not return a phone call to his Westminster office yesterday.

Rose Ann Fischer, a Caracara Court resident, complained Tuesday to the Planning Commission, saying the weeds are attracting rats, mice and snakes.

Those unwelcome creatures are making their way to back yards and swimming pools, she said. Residents fear the animals will bring ticks that may carry Lyme disease.

"I am 5 feet tall and the weeds are taller than me," said Ms. Fischer. "I have seen rats around the base of my pool."

The builder frequently uses rainy weather as a delaying tactic, she said.

"They cut the grass at the model Wednesday after the rain," she said. "What would have been the big deal about coming around the corner and cutting behind our yards?"

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