It is unlawful for any person to cause, keep, or permit any nuisance within the city. A nuisance is defined as any act, omission, or condition which endangers life, health, or property, or is offensive to the senses, or interferes with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.
The main responsibility among others assigned to the Environmental Inspector is to address on-property nuisance violations. These violations are found in Chapter 54 of the Winfield Municipal Code and include but are not limited to weeds and grass in excess of 12 inches and/or excessive overgrowth of vegetation surrounding fence lines, structures, utility/sign poles, curbing, fire hydrants, trees, etc. Accumulations of garbage, rubbish, trash, refuse, junk and other materials, inoperable vehicles, as well as dead, dying or damaged trees and tree limbs that do not meet the height requirements where overhanging streets, alleys, sidewalks, street signs etc.
Overgrown grass and weeds 12 inches or taller is the most prominent violation that occurs throughout a normal year. During the spring, summer and fall months of 2019, 741 grass/weed violations were documented and addressed. Over 97% of these violations were resolved with a simple reminder. The remaining 3% were remedied through city intervention through the use of contractors. Door hangers are used as a gentle and first step reminder that a violation is occurring and corrective action must be taken within 5 days. 5 days after notification, a re-inspection of the property is conducted by the Environmental Inspector and if no action to remediate has occurred the property owner and occupant (if the home is an occupied rental) will be sent a certified letter. This letter is the official notice of the violation providing an additional 5 days to resolve the violation prior to city intervention. Ignoring service of a certified mail will not result in the city ignoring the violation. Remediation of the violation will occur regardless and the contractor's invoice cost as well as a graduated administrative fee will be passed on to the owner. This letter is the only notification provided within a calendar year. Subsequent violations within that calendar year will be remediated by the city with no further notification to the owner/occupant.
The Environmental Inspector also serves as the city's Stormwater Manager and as such is responsible for enforcing stormwater regulations as set forth in Article X. Stormwater Management specifically Sec. 78-603. - Specific prohibitions and requirements. This section of the Winfield Municipal Code prohibits the release of certain substances into the storm water system by any person(s). Prohibited substances include but are not limited to used motor oil, antifreeze or any other petroleum product or waste, hazardous waste including household hazardous waste, domestic sewage, or septic tank waste, grease trap waste, garbage, rubbish or yard waste including grass trimmings, leaves, weeds and all other vegetation, trees, bushes or portions, trimming or wastes thereof.
Through the efforts of our Environmental Inspector and the enforcement of the Winfield Municipal Code, we hope to gain willing and voluntary compliance to the nuisance ordinances and to encourage citizen participation and cooperation towards maintaining their property.
Nuisances and Stormwater violations may be reported to the Environmental Inspector by using the Report a Concern online notification or by calling (620) 221-5527, during regular business hours (7:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 7:30 am - 11:30 am Friday).