A Galveston woman refused to mow her yard after the city told her to do so or face a big fine. The City of Galveston told Sasha Francis earlier this month that the tickseeds, also called coreopsis, in her yard are too big without a permit.
The city said that if she didn’t mow her yard by last Saturday, April 22, they would file “appropriate charges” in Municipal Court. The city may also choose to do the necessary cleanup work and get paid for it by putting a lien on the property.”
“I’m not trying to be a nuisance. I’m not trying to cause trouble,” Francis said. “I am not trying to create an eyesore, which it clearly is, I’m trying to do the right thing, and I’m also trying to empower other residents to support local wildlife.”
This isn’t the first time her yard has caused trouble with the city. In 2021, Francis and her husband got similar warning letters and went to court over the same problem. In the end, they paid $300 at that time. She learned about the city’s wildflower allowances while she was in court. The exemptions are free, but the owners of the property must ask for them every year by January 31.
Francis said, “People don’t go through these kinds of processes because they are too long and hard to understand.” “And it really makes them an easy target to be bothered and watched.”
Saturday has already passed. He did not cut the grass. She said, “Yes, I did tell [the city] yesterday that I don’t plan to mow.”
The city’s representative said that Francis would get a ticket because he did not follow the city’s rules. Francis might then have to go to court, where he could get a one-time fine of up to $500.
Marissa Burnett said, “I’m not saying Ms. Frances didn’t want a wildflower garden, but there is a process we have to follow.” “We need to use it the same way for all residents, and in this case, the process was not followed.”
Burnett said that the city would rather work with Francis than give him a fee. Burnett is worried that if the city lets Francis keep the plant without a permit, it will have to do the same thing if someone else breaks the law. You might check also Texas Measure Mandates Jail Guard Body Cameras.
“We want to make sure our rules are fair, so even though she had it before, she would still have to apply for it this year in January. Because next week, someone else might say, “Well, what about me?” and if we say, “No,” that’s not following our rules in a fair way.”
Francis created a Change.org petition hoping to get city leaders to extend the application process for the exemption form among other things:
Allow residents to renew Wildflower Exemption Permits anytime throughout the year OR at least increase the renewal period to Jan. 1 through March 31.
Require the City of Galveston to send out electronic or mail renewal notices to permit holders within 30 days of their permit expiration date.
Amend the language of Sections 302.1: Sanitation and 302.4: Weeds to add “and monitored native wildflowers and grasses” to the phrase below, following “cultivated flowers and gardens”: “Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided; however this term should not include cultivated flowers and gardens.”
Improve permit filing system to retain accurate records and allow for remote access by city marshals to view current records by address or property owner name.
Appoint a volunteer “Conservation Commission”, consisting of knowledgeable local residents and organizations, to inform the city of best practices to support native plants, habitats, and wildlife, and increase awareness of wildflower exemption permits and benefits. This will reduce the education and outreach burden on city staff and provide a knowledge base to continue to improve and amend environmental ordinances and programs citywide. About to end of this news we can share the latest piece of news about Planned Musical Selections For April 18 Concert In Fredericksburg, Texas.
“I just again think that they don’t get the bottom line here,” Francis said. “They don’t understand the importance of this, and why it’s so much better than a cut lawn that might look, I’m not going to say prettier, this is way prettier, but look more normal or more cookie cutter.”