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Lansing residents given an ultimatum for participating in No Mow May, cut your grass or face a fine

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Posted at 10:03 AM, May 24, 2023

LANSING, Mich. — Anna Murray has always been a supporter of No Mow May, and she had plans to join the trend this year.

“I got a 3-year-old grand daughter, and she's really into animals and wanted to do the No Mow May for the bumble bees, and that's what we were planning on doing,” Murray said.

But then, Murray got a letter from the city.

“And we ended up cutting the grass, so we don't get in trouble for it,” she said.

That warning letter, coming from the city's Code Compliance Office, was sent to over 1,400 Lansing residents telling them to cut their grass or they'll be slapped with a fine and fee that equates to over $300. The city said grass that is grown over eight inches is a violation of a city ordinance, and they're holding residents accountable.

“To me, it seems like a money grab,” Murray said. “It’s just something to nit pick at people for.”

Murray believes Lansing should become more accepting of No Mow May, like East Lansing. Earlier this year, their City Council passed an ordinance to let residents grow their grass during the month.

“East Lansing not only did it, but they gave out yard signs to folks saying they're participating in No Mow May,” said City Councilman Ryan Kost.

Kost said he wants Lansing to get to that point, and he believes Mayor Andy Schor has the power to make it happen.

“This should be an executive action. I would encourage the mayor's office that is this is something the citizens are asking for. I would encourage them to look at next May making an executive action to not enforce the ordinance on the books,” Kost said.

But Schor said it’s a little more complicated than that.

“It's just not something that should happen through the mayor's office, it should happen through City Council with appropriate public input,” Schor said. “And if five council members voted on that, then I would make a decision, but until then, it’s a legislative issue.”

While city officials try and figure out how to resolve the problem, residents like Murray are frustrated.

“Upset, upset because it’s No Mow May, and here we are being fined for it,” she said.

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Tianna Jenkins

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