The San Jacinto City Council of 2007, responding to citizen’s complaints about the area’s high winds blowing unhealthful heavy dust in the air from agricultural field discing and property damage, passed an ordinance prohibiting discing on real property.
The prohibition included discing on vacant properties and property not being used in farming operations. It allowed “mow only” on these properties.
The major winter rains this past winter have creating heavy vegetation growth along with more recent rapid drying conditions, citywide weed removal has become very difficult for city crews and property owners. The heavy dried out weeds are now considered an extremely serious fire hazard.
These conditions prompted San Jacinto Development Director Sharon Paisley and staff to ask the City Council to call a special meeting July 6 to approve an Urgency Ordinance to remove the prohibition on discing and amending other weed abatement measures from city ordinances.
When discing was prohibited it required the mow only weed removal. The city staff and fire officials reported the mower blades can cause sparks when striking debris, that could ignite a serious brush or grass fire that could endanger the public’s health and safety and major property destruction.
The approval of the urgency ordinance by the council allows weed abatement contractors to disc instead of mow, which “may help to smother sparks by churning the dirt as the weeds are pulled. The urgency ordinance added several safety measures to the City’s Dust Control chapter requiring “that property owners clear the property of any debris before undertaking weed abatement and requiring active water trucks through May 1 through Oct. 31 when discing is undertaken on vacant land to control dust and reduce the risk of sparks.”