City of El Paso Overrun with Weeds and Complaints
I’m sure you’ve noticed weeds have taken over the city. There is no escaping the overgrown vegetation; the wild plants have taken up residence on every available yard, sidewalk, hiking trail, mountainside and traffic median in and around town.
And because so many of them are the size of a small child, more people are complaining about how unsightly they’re making their neighborhood look, according to Danny Soto, the Code Field Operations Supervisor for Code Enforcement with the City of El Paso.
Soto told a local TV station that because it’s been such a wet summer, in August alone they’ve received close to 4,000 calls regarding overgrown weeds – that’s two times the number they were getting at this time last year. Mostly because the summer of 2020 was more a nonsoon than a monsoon.
And the large number of complaints has kept code enforcement busy.
Sergeant Enrique Carrillo, Public Affairs/Media Relations for the El Paso Police Department, confirmed to me via email that Code Enforcement is indeed actively patrolling neighborhoods 7 days a week and handing out ”Notice of Violations” on a daily basis.
City code says grass and weeds are not allowed to be taller than one foot, although I’ve been told in the past Code Enforcement officers don’t just look at the height; they're look at how widespread those weeds are too.
Sgt. Carrillo said the city will first issue a warning and give you 7-10 days to come into compliance. If you fail to comply, you'll get a second warning. get another notice. “If they do not come into compliance then the City of El Paso can obtain a writ of entry in order to clean up the property and a lien on the property could be placed on the property until the owner pays the fees assessed to clean up of said property.”
The bill you get depends on the size of the yard and the number of city workers and equipment that was needed to bring your property into compliance.
Do As I Say, Not As I Do
But what about when the weed jungle is on city property such as parks and medians, or El Paso Water property like along canals and drains? Many of our listeners feel the city threatening to fine property owners for an issue that the city is just as guilty of is a case of do as I say not as I do.
"Citizens should call 311 to report such complaints," Sgt. Carrillo suggests. (I’ve also found that taking lots of photos and sending them to your city rep can help, too.)
El Paso's monsoon typically runs through September 30 and has already dropped almost 10 inches across the Borderland since mid-June making the 2021 Monsoon Season the second wettest in history, according to the National Weather Service El Paso.
So get to pulling, spraying, and whacking the undesirable greenery because it might be a longer weed season than usual and unkempt yards and overgrown weeds are one of the most common violations the city gets calls about.