Common Violation :: Tall Grass & Weeds

Section 10-135 of the Henrico County Code defines weeds as: “any grass, weeds, bushes, poison ivy, poison oak or any other vegetable growth other than trees, ornamental shrubbery, flowers and garden vegetables.”

What is the HEIGHT LIMIT for grass/weeds and what properties are required to comply with the ordinance?

The County Code restricts weed growth to 12 inches in height on the following properties:

  • Any vacant developed or undeveloped property that is located within the boundaries of a platted subdivision
  • Any property zoned for residential, business, commercial, or industrial use must cut weeds/grass that is within 250 feet of property developed for residential use.

What action does the County take in order to gain compliance from violators of the ordinance?

A Community Maintenance Inspector will respond to a reported violation within 3 days of receiving the complaint. The inspectors make every effort to contact the property owner in person and by leaving business cards, brochures and notices at the dwelling and following up by mail. Owners are normally given 5 calendar days to cut the grass/weeds. Willful compliance is a goal in our program.

However, if willful compliance is not obtained by the deadline date, the County may respond by hiring a contractor to cut the weeds and billing the cost to the property owner. Any unpaid bill will be assessed as a lien against the property and shown on the tax bill. The owners of occupied residential real property are subject to being fined a civil penalty of up to $100 if convicted of a violation. All other violators are subject to a fine of up to $250. Only one Notice of Violation will be issued in any 12 month period. Additional violations may result in Henrico County cutting the grass/weeds and billing the property owner.

Did you know that…

Overgrowth vegetation is prohibited from being cut when the area is required to remain natural to serve as a buffer, or is located in a protected wetland. Questions about buffers can be answered by calling:

Planning Office 501-4602

Questions about protected wetlands can be answered by calling:

Department of Public Works 501-4393


Help us help you…

Properties with tall grass and weeds frequently have other ordinance violations. If you call to report a weed/grass violation, advising our staff of the following will help the inspector prepare to address all concerns on the property:

  • Is the property vacant or occupied?
  • Are there any inoperable or unlicensed vehicles or trailers on the property?
  • Is there any trash, garbage or litter on the property that is not stored in a covered, watertight container?
  • Have you seen any evidence of rats on the property?