One of the best neighborhood policies most municipalities envokes is the requirement for lawns to be mowed to some extent. Not only can it affect curb appeal and property values, but taller lawns also tend to harbor annoying insects like mosquitoes and they generally require more herbicides to manage weeds, to an extent.

All in all, it's for the greater good of the community, but it's still a far from perfect standard practice. Not only does a neighborhood policy like this empower your local neighborhood Karens to do Karen things. Eventually, if the problems persist, any city will issue fines to a homeowner or renter to encourage regular lawn care, but what about when the city turns a blind eye to their own overgrown city properties at the same time.

Luckily, the answer isn't nearly as complicated as it could be. This is the reason there's a department in most city halls delegated to deal with these issues. In Lawton, that department is Neighborhood Services.

Neighborhood Services is who you would contact to rat out your non-mowing neighbors. They'll typically send someone out to assess the situation, and if the transgression is serious enough, a warning of sorts will be sent out through the mail. Usually a "Mow your grass or we'll issues a fine/bill, mowing it for you." So what if you called Neighborhood Services and provided them the address of the city property they're neglecting?

It's not quite clear, but in a perfect world, seeing as it's a government department, it would be ideal that a report be filed for the call. Seeing how casual our local government is with their own shenanigans, I just don't see this being a thing... Come on, so far in 2022 the City of Lawton has hinted at an option to close several city parks down because they don't have the available funds to carry out regular grounds keeping... However, there are options that might not pan out ideal, but would definitely make headlines.

Instead of hounding the city to take care of their own lawn maintenance, maybe you should pop out there and do it for them, sending a fine/bill for your labor after the fact. I'm sure you'll immediately be hit with a "No, we don't pay citizens to mow city property." Keep at it and drive the point home. It's not like the city can trespass you on your own public property. I mean, they might be dim enough to try, in which case you'll likely take home your own piece of the CIP fund as a settlement...

If the city ignores your invoices long enough, you'll at least be given the opportunity to try to place a lien on public property or settle it out in claims courts, making hilarious and petty headlines about impotent local government all across America.

Whether you own or rent, you're expected to keep a certain level of aesthetic beauty around your property... I think it's fair to expect the same from them. This is exactly what our tax dollars are for, maybe it's time to remind those who keep sinking them into secret, closed-door, kicked-back, announced after-the-fact projects.

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While you can't always judge a book by its cover, homes and businesses are different. Here are the structures the City of Lawton is forcing owners to update or demolish in the most recent update to the Lawton Dilapidated & Dangerous Properties list. Since taking the photos, some of these structures have had fires, others have unrepaired issues... this is just what they looked like the last time Google came through town.

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