Apparently, the owner of the Sandmar Village subdivision doesn’t want to mow the numerous vacant lots in his neighborhood.

   “I [emailed] back and forth with Mr. [Rick] Read,” Public Works Director Mike Ehrenberg said of Sandmar’s owner, “and was trying to work with him to be compliant with [mowing]. He just didn’t really want to do anything, so I contracted with Integrity for this year to take care of it.

   “So, basically, I’m doing his [mowing]. It goes on [Read’s] tax bill but it also comes out of our budget now — which hurts our budget.”

  The city of Ripon doesn’t want to be mowing Sandmar for its owner out of its own pocket. Nor does it want grass and weeds to grow wild there. But it also doesn’t have an ordinance in place with teeth to “encourage” property owners such as Read to do the mowing themselves.

   That could change soon.

   The city of Ripon is considering an ordinance that would require property owners to keep lawns at less than 6 inches in length -- or face citations for repeat offenses.

   “The ordinance [proposed] is more punitive, costly, so that they would take that over,” Ehrenberg said. “We shouldn’t be managing properties.”

Read the full story, including specifics of how the proposed new ordinance would work, in the July 11, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.