Parma property inspectors begin ticketing homeowners for neglecting properties

Residents fined for high grass and trash in yards

PARMA, Ohio - Parma police are not the only ones writing tickets in Ohio's seventh largest city.

On Monday, city inspectors began writing tickets if they noticed homeowners who had high grass, trash in the yard and non-working autos parked in the yard.

"If they observe these nuisance properties, one of these nuisance issues, they will have the ability to issue the minor misdemeanor ticket when they get back to the office which then goes out in the mail," said Parma assistant building commissioner Don Graves.

The ticketing program is part of Parma's "Good Neighborhoods Initiative." The tickets are meant to target chronic, repeat offenders.

Ticketed homeowners have the choice of paying the $150 fine or challenging the ticket in court.

While some residents were concerned the city would abuse the program to increase revenue, city officials said the tickets were not meant to be a money-maker.

"Our hope is they put the money into the house to maintain it so we don't have to issue tickets," said Graves.

The city will work with residents who have extenuating circumstances, such as senior citizens or the disabled, to help them come into compliance.

Richard Borkowski, a Parma resident for 45 years, was busy Monday cutting his grass. He felt it was important for residents to keep up their property.

"You want Parma to look decent and a nice place to live," said Richard. "As long as people come through here and notice that the lawns or everything is taken care of, then you get people to come here."

Parma officials hope the program will cut down on repeat offenders.

Officials are also developing a program that would recognize homeowners who go "above and beyond" in beautifying and caring for their homes and property.

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