ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — While driving around Arapahoe County, it's easy to notice how the neighborhoods are nice and well-kept. Residents are even honoring the yard of the month.
But slow down a second and you see what people are complaining about: weeds.
“If you see yards as you’re driving down a normal street and they’re well kept and maintained, there’s a big difference,” said Arapahoe County Zoning & Animal Control Director Caitlyn Cahill.
Especially on empty lots not far from the intersection of Parker and Iliff.
“A lot of the areas are old rundown houses not being maintained. We do have the authority in some situations for the weeds that are growing on that property, but as far as aesthetics and look of building, we don’t have authority,” Cahill said.
Due to a large number of resident complaints, the county took a study session to the Board of Commissioners last week to address the issue.
“With the blessing of the county commissioners we have elected to go forward with researching and proposing adoptions to the property maintenance code,” Cahill said.
Arapahoe County only has jurisdiction over properties that are one acre or less. So on many of these properties, they get complaints about properties they can't do anything about, which is why they're trying to get to the root of the problem.
The county will research expanding the range of the property maintenance code as well as impose steeper penalties for those found to be in violation. Currently, all they can do is have the county attorney bring a civil lawsuit.
“Our hope is where we could turn it into enforcement where a penalty assessment or a fine could be issued to try to encourage compliance a little bit quicker,” Cahill said.
The county hopes to have a proposal weeded out by the first quarter of 2020 so the eyesores can be completely uprooted.