A no-cost permit must be obtained from the Ontario Fire Prevention Department for abatement of properties over one acre. Click here for the permit and filing instructions
The primary purpose of the weed and refuse abatement program is to prevent fire hazards posed by overgrown weeds and the accumulation of combustible materials, and also to enhance the appearance of the City.
Code Enforcement staff will inspect vacant lots in the City twice a year, during the spring and the fall. Additional inspections may occur due to weed or vegetation growth from greater than normal rainy seasons.
Code staff will be looking to ensure weeds and vegetation on vacant lots are less than six inches in height on sites less than one acre. For sites greater than one acre, a minimum clearance of 30 feet is required around structures and property lines. Additionally, the Ontario Municipal Code property maintenance schedule sections requires all properties in the City to be maintained free of debris, with trees trimmed and dilapidated fences removed or repaired.
If a vacant lot is not in compliance at the time of inspection, the property owner will be issued a Notice of Violation in addition to a corresponding fee. If after a second inspection the vacant lot is still not in compliance a civil penalty, re-inspection fee and a Notice of Intent to Abate will also be issued. Code staff will then direct a City contractor to abate all weeds, rubbish and/or refuse on the vacant lot. All costs associated with the abatement of weeds and refuse from the property and an administrative fee will be assessed to the property owner. Failure to pay fines, penalties and abatement costs will result in a special assessment being placed on the property tax bill.
MINIMUM FIRE SAFETY STANDARDS
- Weeds, sagebrush, chaparral and any other brush must not exceed 6 inches in height.
- Noxious or dangerous weeds such as poison oak or poison ivy must be removed.
- Clear flammable vegetation a minimum of 30 feet around structure, occupied or not. Some conditions may require up to 100 feet of clearance.
- Parcels up to one acre shall be completely abated.
- Parcels one to five acres require 30 foot clearance around structures and perimeter property lines. Additional 30 foot cross fuel breaks may also be required.
- Parcels larger than five acres require 30 foot clearance around structure an perimeter property lines in addition to 30 foot cross breaks as needed to separate the remaining vegetation into sections no larger than five acres.
- Keep property clear of combustible debris, such as trash and dead vegetation.
- Keep vegetation cleared from under the eaves of houses.
- Trim tree branches to at least 10 feet from the structure and chimney.
- Clear leaves, pine needles and debris from roof and gutters.
- Ladder fuels, such as tall grasses, shrubs and tree branches shall be kept no less than eight feet from ground level.
FINES FOR REFUSAL TO ABATE WEED AND REFUSE CONDITIONS
- Notice of Violation: $110
- Re-inspection: $50
- Civil Penalties: $500
- Abatement: $285 administrative fee plus contractor cost, and warrant if needed
Please contact either: