It can be easy to put off mowing your lawn because it won't stop raining or because life is just insanely hectic, but did you know that New York has some specific and enforceable rules about how tall your grass is allowed to be?

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While the specific fines and enforcement actions for tall grass violations vary depending on the location of your home and the severity of the violation the bottom line is that the New York government does, has, and will issue fines for tall grass in certain areas.

Local governments in cities, towns, and villages, have ordinances in place that require property owners to maintain their properties and keep them free of weeds, grass, and other vegetation over a certain height. Property owners who violate these ordinances may be subject to fines and other enforcement actions.

For example, the Village of Endicott's Code of Ordinances requires property owners to keep their properties free of weeds, grass, and other vegetation over ten inches in height.  Additionally, no accumulation of dead weeds, grass, or brush is allowed on a property.  In the City of Binghamton, the code requires that all properties be kept free of litter and rubbish and that grass and weeds be maintained at a height of less than eight inches.

In Sherburne, the law states that no property can have "uncultivated or obnoxious grass." In the Town of Oneonta, officials passed a "tall grass policy" in 2021 after several complaints over overgrown lawns, and now, no property is allowed to have grass any longer than ten inches.

Even larger cities have rules regarding grass length. In Syracuse, grass can be no longer than ten inches and the same is true for Albany and Buffalo.

It is important to note that individual towns or cities within the county in which you live may have their own ordinances regarding tall grass, so it's recommended to check with your local government for more information.

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