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Roslyn Harbor considers restrictions on grass height, dumpsters 

The Roslyn Harbor Village Hall sign is shown

The Roslyn Harbor Village Hall sign is shown in this 2013 photo. Credit: JC Cherubini

Board trustees in Roslyn Harbor are mulling two village code amendments that would govern lawn maintenance and dumpsters on residential properties.

The lawn amendment would set a maximum height of 6 inches for maintained grass that’s visible to the public from the street. The dumpster amendment would prohibit homeowners from placing a dumpster or a moving pod on their property for longer than 30 days. Village attorney Peter MacKinnon is now writing a draft of the grass height amendment and researching other village laws on dumpster placement. 

Trustees said during a board meeting Tuesday that overgrown grass ruins the aesthetics of Roslyn Harbor.

“I happened to be around a lot this summer and there were so many homes where we were basically driving around the village telling people that they haven’t been cutting any of their grass,” Deputy Mayor Sandy Quentzel said. “It shouldn’t be that way.”

Trustees said overgrown lawns attract bugs, like lawn lice and ticks, that can become harmful to residents and pets. Tall grass is also a fire danger, said Stephen Ray Fellman, the village’s building inspector, adding that “if you have tall grass, it can catch fire if it’s dry.”

Land that has traditionally been wooded or wild areas would be exempt from the rule, trustees said.

“If it’s trees and brush, you can’t be forced to clean away the forest,” said Village Clerk Marla Wolfson.

Trustees are considering requiring permits for residents who want a dumpster on their property with “the idea being you don’t want people to just keep a dumpster on their property,” Wolfson said.

Keeping a dumpster on site for lengthy periods is not a widespread problem in Roslyn Harbor, but the issue comes up when residents begin construction at their home without getting a building permit first, Wolfson said. A dumpster appears at a resident's home and village officials aren't sure why it's there, Wolfson said. 

Fellman noted one instance of a resident keeping a moving pod in the driveway for two years.

“It just became part of their storage shed,” Fellman said.

If approved, the dumpster permit rule would apply only to residents doing minor housework, like cleaning an attic or re-tiling a bathroom floor, village officials said. 

"If you're doing major construction, you're going to get a building permit, so you don't have to worry about this," Wolfson said. 

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