A tidy lawn could be law in Lynnwood

LYNNWOOD — The city’s looking to regulate how tall grass can grow on lawns, whether semi trucks can be parked on the street in neighborhoods and if mother-in-law homes can be built separate from homes.

At a meeting tonight, the Lynnwood City Council is considering three ordinances that aim to tidy up neighborhoods throughout the city.

“There have been cases where there’s been so much overgrown vegetation that there’s a concern it’s a breeding ground for pests,” council president Ted Hikel said. “It also in some cases has brought up the question of whether that would present a fire hazard, especially in the summertime.”

Community development director Paul Krauss said the city’s goal with its proposed yard maintenance law is to protect property values and public health.

“The purpose of the ordinance is not to go after people who neglected to cut their grass for a month but rather toward homes where there has been little or no maintenance for years,” he said.

The city hasn’t updated its rules for accessory dwelling units since 1995 and officials say the city’s only received five permit applications since then.

City rules allow mother-in-law apartments that are attached to the main house.

City Council members disagree on whether the city should allow detached apartments.

Paul Krauss, the city’s community development director, said most cities place a variety of restrictions on commercial trucks and where they can park overnight.

Lynnwood has no such restrictions, he said, except for a limitation on parking semi trucks for a few hours in the middle of the night.

“We have also had problems with trucks parked on streets blocking sight distance on streets, cross-streets and driveways, creating a safety hazard,” Krauss wrote in an e-mail.

Proposed changes could restrict commercial trucks to a maximum of 12,000 pounds and allow them to be parked on driveways but not residential streets.

Trucks weighing more than 12,000 pounds would be allowed to park temporarily when providing business-related services.

Contractors and other service providers who use a truck or van would be allowed to park at home, Krauss said.

The new rules would not apply to recreational vehicles or noncommercial trucks.

Councilman Jim Smith urged city officials last week to allow commercial trucks on private driveways.

“Let’s not infringe on people’s personal property,” he said.

The council also will consider proposals to limit the length of grass lawns to 12 inches or 6 inches.

Oscar Halpert: 425-339-3429, ohalpert@heraldnet.com.

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