At the October 20th work session, I plan to introduce legislation to create a Native Plant Network in Mount Rainier.
A part of that legislation was slated to include proposed changes to our City Code that would make it clear such native landscaping would not be subject to citations from our Code Compliance team.
Because of recent enforcement activities from our Code Compliance team in enforcing outdated and unclear code regarding "weeds" and tall hedges, I've also asked the Mayor and Council to discuss putting a hold on such enforcement at our legislative session tomorrow night, until we can consider and debate the amendments to the Code I'll unveil at our October work session.
While some enforcement is needed when vegetation encroaches on city easements (e.g., sidewalks) or neighbors' yards (creating a nuisance for others), some recent enforcement activities seem to focus on mere "wild" landscaping techniques - including but not limited to the use of native wildflowers, bushes, and trees.
And while it may be difficult to define the grey line distinguishing between those two, such grey lines are worthy topics of democratic debate and deliberation. My hope is that calling for a pause in enforcement will give us time to do just that.
As for the Native Plant Network, I will be reaching out in a separate email to those of you who have already helped me get to this stage. If anyone else is interested in getting this program off the ground, please let me know.
Finally, the Sierra Club's Maryland Chapter has taken an interest in the idea of creating a Native Plant Network and invited me to participate in its Natural Places Monthly Meeting, Campaign for Nature 30x30 Panel. If you're interested in attending, you can RSVP to attend this Zoom meeting at https://act.sierraclub.org/events/details?formcampaignid=7013q000001b7RgAAI&mapLinkHref=.
While I am honored to get noticed like this, it speaks volumes of the community we live in - a community whose dedication to being good stewards to our little square mile inspired the Native Plant Network idea in the first place.