Steep fines, jail for lawn neglect

June 13, 2012 at 3:11 PM

MASSAPEQUA PARK, N.Y., June 13 (UPI) -- A New York state village has passed new rules regarding lawn and home cleanliness that could result in fines of up to $10,000 or even jail time.

Massapequa Park Mayor James Altadonna Jr. said the new penalties for having unkempt lawns or messy home exteriors are mainly aimed at banks that have foreclosed on homes and landowners who do not live at the addresses in question, WCBS-TV, New York, reported Wednesday.

"We are instituting a stiff fine that has escalating clauses to be punitive because we want banks and landowners to pay attention to their properties and maintain their properties like the rest of our community," Altadonna said.

The village board unanimously passed the rules, which impose $250-$1,000 fine for the first offense, $2,500 plus up to 10 days in jail for the second and $10,000 and 15 jail days for the third offense.

Some residents said the new rules are needlessly harsh.

I think this is a type of place, I live here because people help each other out, not because they report each other," said a resident who asked not to be named. "If it's an elderly couple that's having problems maintaining their property, I think we should help them out. I don't think we should fine them $1,000."

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