Dover Looks to Stop Blowing or Sweeping of Grass Clippings into - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Looks to Stop Blowing or Sweeping of Grass Clippings into Streets


DOVER, Del. (WBOC) - Dover City Council took its first look Monday night at a proposed ban on people blowing or sweeping grass clipping from their yards and onto places like the street or sidewalk.

The ordinance starts with the aesthetic value of not seeing grass clippings everywhere.

But Ann Marie Townshend, planning director for Dover, says more important is keeping the clippings from getting into storm drains and then out into the areas waterways.

She says Dover has a storm sewer permit, which requires the city to protect the water quality of its waterways. And here she says that means addressing grass clippings.

"If they're in the street and not cleaned up, they will go into the storm drains, which go right into silver lake or the St. Jones. It contributes to the nutrient problem that we have," she said.

In fact the city heard from DNREC on the issue.

"We are under a notice of violation from DNREC, said Townshend. "So, really do need to get ordinance on the books, get our procedures in line so we can get on track with that but also just to protect the water quality."

Some city council members seem to be on board, but at least one called the proposed ordinance overreaching and unenforceable.

Kevin Niezgoda was out in Dover in the beautiful weather Monday doing some yard work.

"Basically taking care of my parents' neighbor's grass, edging, grass cutting, leaf blowing," he said.

He was blowing the stuff into the street, which he has every right to do under current city code.

Niezgoda thinks an ordinance on grass clippings might be a bit of overkill.

"I guess it could be going out into the storm sewers and stuff like that. But there's a lot more stuff going into the storm sewers than grass clippings."

If the ordinance goes through, the city's code enforcement team would be responsible for enforcement. Violators would face a fine.

The ordinance would not be unique to Dover, for example, Smyrna has one.

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