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Do you know who to call if you're having trouble with your neighbor? Non-violent trouble, I mean. No? Well get ready for what's going to be kind of a bumpy ride as I lay out who to call...because it sounds like some kind of comedy sketch.

Monday on Rochester Today, on KROC-AM and 96.9 FM, Rochester City Councilmember Sean Palmer was taking phone calls, and one brought out an answer I never would have expected.

The caller wanted to know who to call about his neighbor...the place was a mess. The grass was four feet high, there were cars and junk in the yard, and other stuff you get with a neighbor that just doesn't keep up with caretaking the property.

The answer was different for the different things the neighbor wanted to complain about.

Who To Call In the Rochester City Offices

Frustrated Guy mows his Lawn

If your neighbor won't mow their lawn, call Rochester Park and Rec - Phone: 507-328-2525

  • Rochester Park and Rec will not come out and mow, but if needed, they'll let the owner know they have to take care of the grass. If they don't, then the lawn will get mowed and a bill sent. If the bill goes unpaid, there's a hearing. If the bill still isn't paid, the cost eventually gets tacked onto property taxes.
Residential home struck by severe storms.

Do they have a dangerous tree that could impact neighbors or the roadway? Call Rochester Planning and Zoning - Phone: 507-328-2950

  • This also goes for boulevard trees...that's owned by the city and they should be alerted to a problem. If you don't hear back, don't cut it yourself. Get in touch with your Rochester City Councilmember and ask them to find out what's going on.

Do they have random junk in their yard (exclusive of cars)? Call Rochester Planning and Zoning - Phone: 507-328-2950

Old Car (Clipping Path Included)

Do they have abandoned cars on the lawn? According to Sean Palmer, anything that does not have a license - call Rochester Building and Safety - Phone: 507-328-2600

Click play to hear the entire show with Sean Palmer.

See what I mean? Kind of a wild ride trying to figure out who to call. Put it down to history and how things get divvied up in city government.  Plus, park and rec already has lawn mowers.

Wasn't There A Lawn Mowing Moratorium in Rochester?

Yes, but it expired in October, 2020.

...If you live in the city of Rochester, you HAVE to keep your lawn maintained-- it's the law.

Rochester city ordinance chapter 8.5 'It shall be unlawful and a public nuisance for any person having control of any property in the city to permit or maintain on such property any noxious weeds, or growth of grass and weeds in excess of 12 inches in height,' and that 'No owner shall permit such weeds and grass to be a public nuisance, but shall abate the nuisance by cutting the weeds and grass and removing the clippings.'

If you don't, you could face a fine and also be responsible for the cost of the city mowing your lawn for you. Except for this year. Because 2020, already being the strangest year in our lifetimes, is the year that the city of Rochester has suspended that ordinance through October. (Source)

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

Listen to James Rabe and Jessica Williams 6a to 10a on Y-105 FM's Early Morning Show.

The 10 Biggest Employers in The Rochester Minnesota Area

The numbers below, from 2020, tally full and part-time employees. This information comes from Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc. (RAEDI)

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