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DC Seasonal Grass-Cutting Rules

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Guest DC Government

Did you know uncut grass could cost you $500? Each year from May 1 through October 31 the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs enforces "seasonal grass-cutting" rules.


Grass and weeds that are more than 10 inches tall could lead to fines. During growing season, property owners (commercial and residential) are required to maintain their premises in a healthy and sanitary manner, free of trash and excessive vegetative growth.


Grass pollen is a common trigger for asthma and allergies. Keeping grass cut can be a part of an overall preventative strategy to control respiratory illness. Excessive growth can harbor rats and other vermin leading to serious public health implications.


DCRA regulations cover all types of excessive vegetative growth including the following: kudzu, poison ivy, plants with obnoxious odors, weeds, grasses causing hay fever, and any weed growth that creates a breeding place for mosquitoes. Regulations require that these weeds not be in place for more than seven (7) calendar days. Weeds may be defined as, but are not limited to, poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac and all vegetation at any state of maturity that matches the following characteristics:

Exceeds ten (10) inches in height, is untended, or creates a dense area of shrubbery that is a detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the public;

Regardless of height, creates a harbor (including hiding places for persons), or a concealment for refuse or trash;

Develops into deposits or accumulation of refuse or trash;

Harbors rodents and vermin or provides a refuge for snakes, rats or other rodents;

Creates an unpleasant or noxious odor;

Constitutes a fire hazard; or

Contains grass or weeds that are dead or diseased.

Failure to comply with a Notice of Violation during the growing season may result in the District abating the property and imposing fines, penalties and fees on the owner. Residents can report violations by calling (202) 442-4400.


Seasonal grass-cutting rules are from Section 800.10 of the DC Municipal Regulations 14.

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