• New NC law aims to get rid of unusual, outdated laws

    By: Gina Esposito

    Updated:

    HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - Marianne Rogowski has lived in Huntersville for 12 years. She said she never knew that having her grass too long could get her in trouble with police.

    "I mean its little ridiculous, like we already have HOA breathing down our necks about all this other stuff and I'm like I don’t know who’s grass around here is 10-inches long but it seems kind of silly," said Rogowski.

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    It is a crime in Huntersville to have your grass longer than 10-inches. According to the city ordinance, it points to "the general health, safety and welfare of the town and its citizens, lessen the attractiveness and livability of the town and when located on any lot or parcel of land within the town limits of the town are a nuisance and therefore unlawful."

    There are dozens of unusual laws like that across North Carolina. Recently, Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 584 into law. It forces local governments to identify certain laws that aren't current or realistic.

    Mitch Koaki with The John Locke Foundation, a government watchdog, said it's important for people to know what is considered a crime in their community. "If you look at some of the things that are crimes in North Carolina, they are truly bizarre."

    In Mount Airy, people can't sell or use 'silly string'. For people enjoying Kure Bach, you could get charged for wearing a thong bathing suit. 

    Kokaki said these are not just infractions, but criminal acts. It could lead to criminal penalties, even court.

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    "The bill itself, Senate Bill 584, which is now law, is part of a larger project. The larger project is tackling this idea of over criminalization in North Carolina," said Kokai.

    Towns and counties have until Nov. 1 to submit their list. Then, the commission will submit their recommendations to the general assembly.

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