CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Dorothy McAvoy walks from her front yard -- the one with the Yard of the Month sign proudly displayed -- to the one next door and shakes her head.
“It is so absolutely discouraging,” she says, and it’s easy to see why.
The grass is 4 feet high and bushes and weeds have all but swallowed up the vacant house in the middle of the lot on Stoneface Road in west Charlotte. She said it’s been that way for years -- since the last owners moved out and no one has come back to take care of the house or the lawn.
“It's unsafe and it's unhealthy and it's a haven for rats. Plus, it's a code violation,” she said.
The man in charge of identifying and correcting those code violations said it’s a common problem this spring in Charlotte.
“There are violations throughout the entire city,” says Ben Krise. He says the combination of a wet spring and now plenty of heat has sent lawns springing up and if they are not cut they can easily reach the legal limit of 12 inches high.
No neighborhood is immune -- not even Myers Park, where Eyewitness News found a house with grass at least 3 feet tall.
“We received this complaint from you yesterday. Our staff went out and found it in violation,” Krise said.
He said they have written the home’s owner and will give them 10 days to cut the grass or have the city cut it for them and send them a bill along with a fine.
“It's not healthy to have grass and weeds this high. It's the reason the entire ordinance was derived,” Krise said.
As part of a campaign to raise awareness of the problem the city has rolled out four trucks complete with decals urging people to report possible violations to the city by calling 311.
To report a code violation, click here.