Uncut grass is another nail in the city's coffin

On my block of East Overlook Road, there are more than a dozen abandoned, probably foreclosed homes. Some of the lawns are covered with foot tall grass and dandelions. I called City Hall and a patient, helpful, articulate person in the Housing Department said that all City Hall can do is call the owners or banks that own the home and ask them to cut the grass. In the past, the city would have cut the grass and charged the owner/bank for the service. But now, because of massive layoffs, the city can no longer do this. They can only make phone calls. They have no way of enforcing the basic upkeep of lawns.

I asked the Housing Department, “What if a resident living in the home simply decides not to cut their grass. What can the city do about it?” "We can do nothing whatsoever except call them, nothing more," was the answer.

This means that no one in Cleveland Heights has to cut the grass anymore. The city, with its budget cutbacks, has lost this basic, fundamental control of its neighborhoods.

My East Overlook block borders directly on Cain Park. During the theater and music season, hundreds of people come from all over to park on my street or nearby and walk to Cain Park. What an image we will be portraying to them: boarded up homes and knee high, unkept lawns. I know exactly what they will say: there goes the neighborhood--it used to be such a nice place to live.

Steve Warner

East Overlook Road

Cleveland Heights

Read More on Letters To The Editor
Volume 2, Issue 6, Posted 4:55 PM, 05.07.2009