What happens when your neighbor won't pull weeds?

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Got weeds?

For many Treasure Valley residents, like Joe Barber of Boise, it's not he who has weeds. It's his neighbor.

"It's ridiculous, that this thing's gone on for five years," Barber said.

"We (neighbors) don't ask for much, but weeds three feet tall in May already? If they caught fire half the neighborhood would burn down before the (fire) trucks got here," he said.

The Truth Squad went to Boise City Hall looking for answers. Scott Spjute runs the Code Enforcement Department.

"The ordinance says that if weeds over 12 inches cover a majority of the property, it constitutes a nuisance," said Scott Spjute, zoning administrator for the city of Boise's Code Enforcement Department. "The property owner is required to abate that nuisance. If the property owners doesn't, the city can go in and do it."

Typically, the property owner takes care of the problem after getting a notice. Last year there were more than 2,200 complaints in Boise. The city only had to hire a contractor to cut and clean up weeds 77 times.

The numbers don't add up for frustrated neighbors such as Barber.

"All he's required to do is cut the weeds down. They say to call back and we'll cite him again. They've been here a dozen times and every year it just gets worse and worse and nothing is being done," Barber said.

The city can cite a property owner who's not in compliance. It's a misdemeanor so the city avoids doing that. The case would then go to court and that takes a lot more time compared to working it out directly with property owners.


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