What You Need to Know About Nuisance Vegetation

Each summer the City of Sioux Falls receives hundreds of complaints about tall grass and weeds in our community. To help handle the large volume of complaints, the City has established a phone number for residents to call if they see noxious weeds or grass that has grown over 8 inches in height. The number is 978-6900. Citizens can call the number during normal business hours, or leave a voice message after hours or on weekends.

When the City receives a complaint about a parcel of land that is being neglected, the City will investigate the complaint with a site visit. If the complaint is valid, the property owner will be sent a courtesy letter asking that the nuisance be corrected. Generally, property owners are given seven days to correct the problem. Only one courtesy letter will be sent on a property per year.

The City will reinspect the property on or after the due date. If the problem has not been corrected, a City Code Enforcement Officer will issue a $100 citation for the violation. In addition, the City has contracted with two lawn mowing services who will correct the violation.

The property owner will be billed for the work, and if the bill is left unpaid, the cost will be assessed against the property. In addition to the new phone number, residents can also report potential violations online through the City’s website at www.siouxfalls.org.

Certain exemptions do apply, such as vegetation being grown as a crop, livestock pasture, wildflower display garden, or the right-of-way of rural section roads. Also, the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department can designate certain lands as “natural areas,” which provides owners more flexibility in the use of native plantings.

Another exemption that affects homebuilders and developers is vegetation on unimproved developments. Undeveloped parcels will still be required to mow a 25-foot buffer if the land is adjacent to a street right-of-way or a developed residential lot. The control of noxious weeds, most notably thistles is required throughout the city.

Our goal in managing the grass and weed control program is voluntary compliance, not to see how many citations we can issue. We ask for your continued cooperation in keeping all properties free of noxious weeds and to also keep all other grasses and weeds below 8 inches in height.