From:Westlake, TX Region: Southwest Topic: Plant Laws Title: Sample city ordinances to incorporate into city code Answered by: Joe Marcus
I am looking for a source of sample city ordinances that will allow wildflowers such that we can incorporate it into our city code. My city is rural and per its master visionplan was originally published August 1992:
" 1. Maintain a rural character throughout the township.
2. Ensure a stewardship of the natural features of the land.
3. Protect the quality and character of existing development.
4. Provide services and amenities for both resident and employee populations that come to Westlake.
5. Ensure that new development is in the best long term interests of those who choose to live and work in the community."
But recent ordinances are in conflict with that in preserving the native wildflowers:
Sec. 46-116. Height of grass and weeds on lot or parcel of land.
"It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, corporation, partnership, association of persons, owner, agent, occupant or anyone having supervision or control of any lot, tract, parcel of land, or a portion thereof, occupied or unoccupied within the corporate limits of the town to suffer or permit grass, weeds or any plant that is not cultivated to grow to a greater height than 12 inches. This section does not apply to the growing of grass for grazing purposes."
Wildflowers are often over 12 inches in height and the city so far has not accepted that reseeding wildflowers and caring for wild flowers (even on 1/2 acre or larger fields) is not "cultivated". And that wild flowers do not make good "hay". Specifically, some guidelines as to allowing ample time for the growing season, blooming season, and natural reseeding seaon (when they look the "worst") before the fields can be mowed again.
The best source of information that we know of regarding weed laws is published on the website of Wild Ones, a non-profit, native plant advocacy group. In addition to providing sample ordinances and amending legislation, they also give excellent practical advice for dealing with municipal weed laws.
More Plant Laws Questions
Weed Laws March 20, 2004 - Help! My neighborhood wants to mow down my native landscape! Can you suggest a resource regarding city regulations and native plant landscaping? view the full question and answer
Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this... view the full question and answer
Regulations on picking native plants and flowers on Government or National Park lands November 18, 2005 - I was wondering what the laws and regulations on picking native plants and flowers on BLM land and NPS land are, and where I can find this information. view the full question and answer
Florida law on removing orange trees March 24, 2007 - I live in a co-op mobile home park with a board of directors that tell me that if I have to cut down my orange tree that Florida law says that I have to replace it with another orange tree. I say that... view the full question and answer
Weed laws on mowing wildflowers in the Spring September 22, 2004 - Is there any law that would prevent a Town from making a person mow their wildflowers down in the spring? view the full question and answer