How Early is Too Early To Cut Your Grass in Lafayette?
Lafayette Louisiana is known for being a friendly place. The kind of place where families help families and neighbors help neighbors. We are also known for the blistering heat and humidity of our summers. In fact, Lafayette, Louisiana, and the surrounding area are getting a taste of mid-August temperatures this week, several days before summer's official arrival.
The National Weather Service in Lake Charles has issued a heat advisory for the excessive heat and humidity. The graphic above from the NWS Lake Charles office shows the parishes in southwest Louisiana affected by the advisory. But don't be fooled, the excessive heat extends well to the east and west of the area designated above.
So, how hot is going to be? Well, it's not so much the actual temperature as it is the "feels-like" temperature also known as the Heat Index. Here's a glimpse of the "hell on Earth" that we are expecting today.
We bring all of the temperatures and heat advisories up because they are quite often a determining factor in when most homeowners in Lafayette and the surrounding area choose to cut their grass around their homes and businesses.
Naturally, those who have to be out in the heat would like to be out when it's not as hot. Those who like to sleep don't want their slumber interrupted by the drone of lawnmowers, weed whackers, and blowers so there has got to be some give and take on the issue.
When is the Earliest You Can Use Power Equipment for Residental Landscaping and Maintenance in Lafayette Louisiana?
The answer to that question is governed by the Lafayette Consolidated Government's sound ordinance. You know the same ordinance that is the reason events such as Patty in the Parc have to shut down at 10 pm in Parc International.
According to the ordinance, based on my understanding, the earliest you can crank that mower, whack those weeds, or blow away debris is 7 am. Here's how a portion of the ordinance reads from the LCG website.
Power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment shall not be operated on residential property between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m
The ordinance varies just a bit when the "yard work" is being done at a commercial or industrial location next to a residential area. A portion of the ordinance that applies to that situation reads as follows:
Power tools and landscaping and yard maintenance equipment, excluding emergency work, shall not be operated within 250 feet of a residential property line when operated on commercial or industrial property, between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. on weekdays, or between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. on weekends...
I would say in the "world of reasonable people" these ordinances and their time restrictions make perfect sense. But when the heat index is already in the low 90s at 7 am and well into the triple-digits by noon as much as I try to abide by the rules and love my neighbors, I really want to cut my grass as soon as it's light enough to do so.
If you're not sure of when it gets "light enough to mow" the official sunrise is 6:06 am in Lafayette today. But it's light enough to mow at 5:30. While I have focused on how early you can mow the ordinance does allow for lawn care into the darkness.
So, basically, LCG says it's not okay to wake people up with your leaf blower but you can sure as hell keep them from sleeping by blowing leaves and grass trimmings until 10 at night. Just for transparency, I wake up to come to work at midnight and people cutting grass in the early evening hours are just as much of a pain to me as those who cut grass at 7 in the morning are to you.
Oh, and don't forget there are rules about how high your grass can grow according to LCG as well. In the city of Lafayette, your grass can't be more than 12 inches high. In the unincorporated parts of the parish, it's 24 inches. So, they can make you cut your grass but not before 7 am.
If you wanted to put goats on your property to trim the lawn, I guess you could but only temporarily. Here's what LCG says about livestock in residential neighborhoods.
Okay, that's all tongue in cheek but could we get a variance on lawn care for an hour in the summertime? There's a big difference between 6 am and 7 am on my thermometer. Of course, you're only breaking the ordinance if someone complains, right?
And speaking of your lawn and keeping it from cooking in the heat, LCG watering restrictions are in place for the summer months.
So, now you know when you can mow grass when you can water grass, and whether you can hire animals, other than your own children, to do the work in your yard for you. And if you're wondering what else has people up in arms in all of this heat, you can try these on for size too.
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