7.430 Nuisance Described; Offense Punishable

(1) Except as provided in subsection (3) hereof, it shall be unlawful and a public nuisance for any owner or occupant of real property in Medford to allow grass, weeds, brush, or bushes, or any like vegetation, over a height of ten inches to remain upon such real property during the period May 1 to September 30 in any calendar year, or at any other time prior to May 1 if the Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee determines that such growth constitutes a fire hazard.  For the purposes of this section, dead or dried grass/weeds/brush/bushes/vegetation over a height of 10 inches is a fire hazard.

Fire season fire danger level restrictions including vegetation removal and operation of equipment in effect by Oregon Department of Forestry shall be enforced by the City of Medford. Exceptions may be granted by the Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee.
 
The following guidelines shall be used for mitigation requirements, unless as otherwise approved by the Fire Chief or the Fire Chief’s designee:

           (a)   Properties less than one acre in size: All grass, weeds, brush, bushes, or any like vegetation posing a fire hazard shall be disked, cut, or removed.
           (b)   Properties more than one acre in size: Grass, weeds, brush, bushes, or any like vegetation posing a fire hazard shall be disked, cut, or removed. Firebreaks may be considered acceptable as an alternative to clearing the entire parcel. Minimum 30'      wide firebreaks shall be provided around the perimeter of the property and the area shall be divided into maximum 2.5 acre parcels with minimum 30' wide cross-breaks. In addition, minimum 100' firebreaks are required adjacent to improved           subdivisions/properties (Road width may be considered part of the 100' firebreak).
          (c)   Subdivisions, including those with paved streets and not fully built out: All grass, weeds, brush, bushes, or any like vegetation posing a fire hazard shall be disked, cut, or removed from each individual lot.
          (d)   Unmaintained agricultural properties: Grass, weeds, brush, bushes, or any like vegetation posing a fire hazard shall be disked, cut, or removed. Minimum 30'          wide firebreaks shall be maintained along the perimeter from the edge of road.  In     addition, minimum 100' wide firebreaks adjacent to improved subdivisions/properties (Road width may be considered part of the 100'       firebreak). 
           (e)   Structures in wildfire hazard zones: Minimum 100’ firebreaks (defensible space)          shall be provided around the perimeter of the structure (Road or driveway width may be considered part of the 100' firebreak). 

(2) Violation of subsection (1) of this section constitutes a violation per Section 7.430 of the Medford Municipal Code.

(3) The provisions of subsection (1) shall not apply to the following:

             (a) To ornamental shrubs, bushes, or other like vegetation maintained and kept in a landscaped yard or place; or,

            (b) Any crop grown and maintained for agricultural purposes, or grass or other like vegetation grown and maintained for pasturage upon property fenced, zoned, and otherwise lawfully used for said purpose; or,

            (c) To any "natural area" within a public park in the City of Medford. As used herein the term "natural area" shall mean any park or portion thereof preserved in its native state, and approved in writing by the Medford Park Development Commission. Prior to approving any natural area the Medford Park Development Commission shall solicit and comply with any order of the Fire Marshal concerning the elimination or reduction of a fire hazard.

(4) Each day during which such a condition is unlawfully permitted to exist after notice has been given in the manner prescribed by section 7.440(2) shall be deemed a separate offense punishable in the manner prescribed by Section 1.100 of this Code; provided that the condition shall be deemed a nuisance and, in addition to the foregoing remedy, may be abated by the City in the manner hereinafter prescribed, and the cost of abatement assessed as a lien against the property and subject to foreclosure in the same manner and to the same effect as in the case of special benefit assessment liens.

[Amd. Sec. 4, Ord. No. 5358, Feb. 7, 1985; Amd. Ord. No. 7345, March 18, 1993; Amd. Sec. 2, Ord. No. 8271, Feb. 6, 1997; Amd. Sec. 4, Ord. No. 2000-55, April 6, 2000; Amd. Sec. 10, Ord. No. 2009-91, May 7, 2009, Amd. Sec. 1, Ord. No. 2019-23, April 4, 2019; Amd. Sec. 12, Ord. No. 2020-43, Apr. 2, 2020.]