NUISANCE COMPLIANCE DIVISION
Office Hours and Days of Operation
8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday
Calls Taken from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., M-F SAT 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
- Mayor's Action Center
- Dog Responsibility Brochure
- Pit Bull Registration Form
- Policy On Wildlife Calls On Private Property
- Summit County Nuisance Wild Animal Trappers
- High Grass / Weed Complaint Process
- High Grass / Weed Questions and Answers
- Nuisance Complaints - Junk Motor Vehicles, Illegal Signs, Sidewalk Obstructions, and/or Graffiti
MISSION STATEMENT: The Nuisance Compliance Division is dedicated to serving the citizens of Akron in an effort to improve the overall quality of life issues in neighborhoods throughout the City of Akron. Our goal is to provide courteous, friendly contact and to provide solutions to problems and complaints brought to the attention of this office.
Policy on Wildlife Calls on Private Property
This policy statement addresses calls for service from the public concerning wildlife on private property. The primary responsibility of City of Akron Animal Control is to enforce City Ordinances and/or Ohio Revised Code as it pertains to domestic animals (e.g., dogs). Ordinances concerning the keeping of exotic animals are the purview of the Akron Health Director. There are currently no ordinances concerning domestic felines. The Health Department of Summit County requires cats to be vaccinated for rabies under the Akron Health Code Regulation No -1-1998.
While the City understands that wildlife can be a nuisance and cause damage to private property, this agency is not responsible for wildlife control. However, an Animal Control Warden may remove wildlife, for a fee, that has been trapped by the property owner and left in the trap or captured and secured in a box. Animal Wardens will not attempt to capture or remove deer from private property.
In order to reduce problems associated with nuisance animals, homeowners should attempt to eliminate sources of food that these animals scavenge. Make sure lids on refuse containers are tightly secured and weighted down, if necessary, to discourage raccoons and opossums. Persons whose residence or property abuts the Metro Parks, Cuyahoga Valley National Park or other wooded locations are advised that this agency will not issue traps for these areas. Calls for service concerning wildlife will be handled in the order received and based upon the availability of Animal Control personnel.
Nuisance animals include raccoons, opossums, groundhogs (woodchucks), muskrats, foxes, bats, weasels, mink, and rabbits. The following policy is in place for nuisance wildlife:
- For a fifty-dollar ($50.00) refundable deposit, the Animal Control Warden can provide the use of a live trap, based upon availability; if no traps are available, the caller will be advised to call back every few days to check availability. A signed release, holding the City harmless for any and all liability resulting in use of the trap, and a thirty-dollar ($30.00) disposal fee for each captured adult animal or each litter is required.
- Trapping of nuisance wildlife is limited to native, non-domestic quadrupeds (e.g., raccoons, opossums, etc.). Traps will not be used for trapping of squirrels out of doors. For skunks and squirrels, consult a nuisance trapper.
- Other than removing confined wildlife (e.g., in a trap or secured in a box), the Animal Warden will not attempt to capture these animals on private property, except as noted below.
- Problems inside dwellings, attics, etc., should be referred to private individuals (locally licensed trappers) as listed in the Summit County Nuisance Animal Trappers list, or consult the Ameritech Yellow Pages under Pest Control Services, and/or under Animal Removal Services for firms that engage in nuisance animal removal.
- Current policy involving removal of live trapped nuisance wildlife requires that all animals be euthanized; this is a mandate from the State of Ohio, Department of Natural Resources. Animals are not released in the Metro Parks, wooded areas, or outside corporate limits.
- The Animal Warden will not remove wildlife from inside dwellings, garages, sheds, ceilings, attics, walls, crawlspaces, under porches, eaves, in fireplaces, chimneys or flues, on roofs, in garbage cans, dumpsters, culverts, inlets, or trees.
- The same rules concerning dead animals on private property pertain to dead wildlife. The caller must securely double-bag, in plastic, and place it on the curb for removal.
- Sick and/or injured wildlife or wildlife that has inflicted a bite on a domestic animal or human may be removed from private property, when feasible. Each instance will be investigated on a case-by-case basis. Specimens will be submitted for rabies testing in concert with current bite protocol or upon the recommendation of the Summit County Health Director or his designate.
USEFUL AGENCIES, LOCATIONS
AND CONTACT TELEPHONE NUMBERS
BITES AND BITE REPORTING: Bites occurring within the City of Akron only - Akron Animal Control. 330-375-2311
HUMANE SOCIETY OF GREATER AKRON: 7996 Darrow Rd., Twinsburg, OH 44087. 330-487-0333 www.summithumane.org/
INJURED OR ORPHANED WILDLIFE: These animals should be left where found. If this is not practical, all inquires involving wild mammals or birds should be referred to one of the following:
Frances Kitchen 330-745-2947
Susan Hamilton 330-645-6721
PERMITS: Permits to keep wild animals cannot be issued for those animals taken from the wild, except under certain conditions. Hawks and owls are totally protected by state and federal statutes and may not be possessed dead or alive. Refer to the following:
U.S.D.A. ANIMAL AND PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICE: 1-419-625-9093 www.aphis.usda.gov/
U.S.F.W. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife) SERVICE: 1-419-625-9093 (nuisance migratory birds) 419-625-9713 (enforcement agent) www.fws.gov/
PROBLEMS CONCERNING: Hawks, owls, beaver, wild turkeys, coyotes, etc. shall be referred to the Wildlife District Three Headquarters.
RABIES HOTLINE: Ohio State Health Department 1-888-411-4142, M-F 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. and weekends 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
RATS & RAT PROBLEMS: Summit County Health Department 330-375-2405 www.co.summit.oh.us/
ROAD-KILL DEER: City of Akron Street Cleaning is responsible for removal of road kills within the corporation limits and within the public right-of-way. Dead deer on private property are the responsibility of the property owner to remove; if placed on the curb, they will be picked up and disposed of by Street Cleaning. Agencies dealing with road-kill deer should refer to §1533.121 O.R.C. concerning disposition. Recipient of deer must have receipt proving ownership. Receipt is valid for a period of six (6) months from date of issuance. Receipt includes sex of deer and name and address of person receiving carcass. A copy must be forwarded to the county Wildlife Officer.
SUMMIT COUNTY WILDLIFE OFFICER: Aaron Brown 330-644-2293 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M-F
WILDLIFE DISTRICT THREE HEADQUARTERS: 912 Portage Lakes Dr., Akron, OH 330-644-2293 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. M-F www.dnr.state.oh.us
GENERAL WILDLIFE INFO LINE 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3433)
POACHER HOTLINE 1-800-POACHER (1-800-766-2437)
STATE PARKS 1-800-BUCKEYE (1-800-282-5393)
HUNTER SAFETY/TRAPPER EDUCATION COURSES 1-800-282-3557
OHIO E.P.A. INCIDENTS 1-800-282-9378
OHIO E.P.A. INFORMATION 1-800-686-6330 www.epa.state.oh.us/
NUISANCE COMPLAINTS - HIGH GRASS AND WEEDS
HIGH GRASS/WEED COMPLAINT PROCESS:
- Complaint is received by 3-1-1 Call Center (330-375-2311)
- Verification of the problem (Occupied property is checked for ownership)
- Property is posted whenever possible and issued an Order to Comply
- Property owners are notified by mail and are given five (5) days to comply
- Properties in non-compliance are assigned for mowing
- Properties are cut and properly documented
- Property owners will receive a notice of violation one (1) time per calendar year pursuant to A.C.O §94.32
- Ownership and Permanent Parcel Number is researched and then the assessment process begins
- If Repeat Offender with subsequent violations after the initial Order to Comply – repeat from step 5 above.
HIGH GRASS/WEEDS COMPLAINT - COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1. Q. Why is there a noxious weed ordinance?
A. The ordinance was primarily enacted in the interest of public health as a means of reducing pollen, litter, and other offensive materials which may be concealed by high grass and weeds. The City of Akron, Department of Neighborhood Assistance, Office of Nuisance compliance is responsible for enforcement of Ordinance §94.32.
2. Q. What type of grass and weed complaints does the City investigate?
A. The Ordinance is designed primarily for vacant lots and abandoned buildings or vacant houses. The ordinance addresses the annual growth of weeds and grasses. It does not apply to areas along or adjacent to wetlands, lakes, ponds, retention basins or tributaries such as rivers, creeks, streams, or storm outlets.
3. Q. How tall can any grass/weeds grow before considered a nuisance and what about overgrown bushes, stink trees, and fallen or dead trees?
A. Grasses and weeds may not exceed eight (8) inches in height. The ordinance does not include bushes, shrubbery, hedges, trees, tree limbs, scrub trees, stink trees (ailanthus altissima), or vines, except poison ivy, and does not extend to other plant growth of any other kind, including dead or fallen trees.
4. Q. Who is supposed to maintain the "devil strip", lawn strip, ditch, or tree lawn area between the street and the property line in front of or abutting a residence or business?
A. The property owner or in the case of rental property, it may be the tenant.
5. Q. My neighbor never trims the grass, weeds, flower beds, or planters next to my property, sometimes the grass/weeds are two feet high in the flower beds and/or along my fence, is this a violation?
A. There are no established standards for lawn care. As long as the grass is being cut, while it may not be to your specifications, it is not a violation. The ordinance does not address trimming. There are no regulations for cutting the grass/weeds along, under or between fences, property lines, along foundations, walls, etc.
6. Q. Am I expected to cut the grass or other growth on my wooded lot?
A. No, wooded lots are not expected to be maintained the same as open fields. You are expected to maintain the area between the edge of the roadway and your property line free from all growth and other encumbrance, including trees, vines, bushes, etc. This is similar to what the Metropolitan Park system ascribes to in the parks.
7. Q. Is the City of Akron responsible for cutting the grass or weeds on private property?
A. No, the City of Akron, through the Nuisance Compliance Office, is responsible for enforcing the high grass/weed ordinance §94.32. It is the property owner's responsibility to cut the grass/weeds.
8. Q. Will the City of Akron cut grass/weeds on vacant lots or vacant houses?
A. Yes, but only as a last resort, when this is done the property owner is assessed for the cost of the cutting and a $200 administrative fee for each cutting process. These costs vary depending on the size of the lot.
9. Q. How often must the grass at a vacant lot or vacant house be cut?
A. There are no number of times specified, only that it can not exceed eight (8) inches in height. In our experience, this can vary from year to year, but usually several times a season. Although don't expect vacant lots or properties to be maintained as would an occupied property.
10. Q. How soon can I expect a resolution to my complaint?
A. From the time your complaint is received to when the grass is actually cut can vary from 10 days (if the owner complies) to upwards of 21 days or more when there is no compliance. The weather and the volume of complaints are a significant factor in this process. Finally, the City of Akron is under no obligation to cut high grass/weeds on private property and is the contractor of last resort.
NUISANCE COMPLAINTS - JUNK MOTOR VEHICLE, ILLEGAL SIGNS, SIDEWALK OBSTRUCTIONS, AND/OR GRAFFITI
JUNK MOTOR VEHICLE COMPLAINT PROCESS:
- Complaint is received by 330-375-2311 (or 311)
- Complaints are compiled by geographical areas (Wards)
- Inspector makes site visitation and documents complaints
- Research of property ownership for junk vehicle location
- Orders to Comply are mailed
- Re-inspection 10 days from original mailing of Order to Comply
- Either towing orders are issued to APD of the vehicle has been properly repaired, registered, or removed
- If there's an Appeal of Order to Comply received by the Motor Vehicle Evaluation Board
- Junk Vehicle hearing by the Appeals Committee
- Vehicle is properly repaired, registered, or removed
- Towing orders are issued to APD
The Nuisance Compliance Office investigates complaints and removes illegal signage from the public right-of-way (R/W). Posting of any signs or notices on the tree lawn, "devil strip," median, expressway fencing, utility poles, traffic poles, traffic control boxes, or any location within a public street is strictly prohibited. This includes real estate signs, open house signs, yard sale signs, auction signs, banners, political signs, or any advertising material.
No person shall place, post or affix any notice, poster, or other paper device IN THE PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY OR to any lamp post, public utility pole, or any public structure or tree in the public right-of-way, except as may be authorized or required by law (A.C.O. §95.11).
Violators of this section are guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine equivalent to the cost of removal of the items which shall not be less than $500.
SIDEWALK AND RIGHT-OF-WAY (R/W)
The Nuisance Compliance Office investigates and documents complaints concerning obstruction of public sidewalks and/or the public R/W between the property line and the street or roadway.
No person shall obstruct any sidewalk or land between the property line and curbing or edge of roadway by placing, or allowing to remain, any anchored articles or substances greater than four (4) inches in height, including but not limited to, scrub growth, bushes, signs, and rocks on the sidewalk or property between the sidewalk and/or between the property line and curbing or edge of the pavement or roadway. (A.C.O. §98.01)
Property owners are notified by mailing of orders-to-comply concerning sidewalk and/or right-of-way obstructions. In the event the owner does not correct the nuisance condition within the stipulated period of time, the nuisance condition is abated by the City of Akron. All costs incurred in correcting the nuisance condition are passed along to the property owner in addition to a $200 administrative fee. These costs may be collected through assessment against the property.
The Nuisance Compliance Office investigates and documents complaints concerning graffiti on private property. This includes houses, garages, apartment dwellings, commercial buildings, fences, exterior walls, etc. Notices are served upon the property owner after documentation of the complaint by the City of Akron.
Property owners may appeal the order-to-comply to the Director of the Department of Neighborhood Assistance and request a hearing. Should the appeal be denied by the City of Akron, the property owner is required to correct the nuisance condition by the removal of the graffiti. In the event the nuisance condition is not abated, the City of Akron will take the necessary action to abate the complaint by whatever means are necessary. All costs incurred for the removal in addition to a $200 administrative fee shall be assessed against the property. (A.C.O §94.20)
PARKING ON LAWNS
Akron City Council passed legislation in 2012 authorizing the Department of Neighborhood Assistance to issue citations for violation of A.C.O. §76.31 parking on front lawns. The fine shall be $50.00 for the first infraction and $100.00 for each subsequent infraction.
The City of Akron pursuant to §§95.06 - 95.14 allows for its authorized employees to inspect properties for litter. Litter can include, but isn't limited to, trash, tree debris, furniture designed for indoor use that is stored in any outdoor area susceptible to moisture from inclement weather, infestation by insect, rodent, or other pest, household debris, building debris (including construction and demolition debris), appliances, tires, carpeting, etc.
The Department of Neighborhood Assistance will serve an Order to Comply to the owner, lessee, occupant, agent, tenant, or other person in charge of the premises. It will be posted, whenever possible, and mailed to both owner and occupants. The owner will have seven (7) days to remedy the nuisance.
If the nuisance is not remedied, the City of Akron will have a contractor remove the items in question. The property owner will be charged for all costs associated with the clean-up plus an Administrative fee of $200.