I've lived in Bangor for most of my life, and I can honestly say this was something I was unaware of … and I'm not sure how I feel about it.

Recently, the city of Bangor put out a little informational tidbit regarding lawn length. Apparently, as part of the city's property maintenance code, property owners in Bangor cannot have lawns in excess of 10 inches high.

They referenced this particular Chapter of the City's Code of Ordinances that explains exactly what their expectations are:

"All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. 'Weeds' shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants, and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs: provided, however, that this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens."

Facebook, City of Bangor, Maine City Hall
Facebook, City of Bangor, Maine City Hall

Upon releasing this information, comments started to come in, some of which I thought had certain merit.

Many sighted that they were keeping their lawns a little "on the wild side" in an effort to help the declining bee population. One person even pointed out the ordinance was last revisited in 2009, and might need to be looked at again, as there was new information about how certain environments can be beneficial to certain populations of insects and wildlife.

A number of people voiced concern that perhaps some folks battling illness, disability or financial insecurity might not have the means to take care of lawns to this standards.

Others offered suggestions that perhaps the city should be more concerned with the condition of the public roadways and less with what private property owners do with the vegetation growing on their land.

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I think I understand where the city officials are coming from with regards to safety of sightlines maybe? If the grass and shrubbery is so high that you can't see beyond it to navigate a vehicle, that can be problematic. I also understand, to a degree, the city trying to prevent properties from looking unsightly. No one wants to be the person living next door to the property that looks abandoned or unkempt.

And I appreciate the information, as I was totally unaware of some of the specifics mentioned in the ordinance.

Do I think it's going to change what people are doing with their lawns a the moment? Probably not. Nor do I foresee (I truly hope) the city wasting valuable resources sending workers out with rulers and measuring tapes to make sure people's yards are shorter than 10 inches.

But as the old adage goes, "You catch more bees with honey than with vinegar" or in this case perhaps it's with a shaggy lawn. And sometimes the way in which you deliver the message can be as important as the message itself.

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