Even so we have done nothing, beyond an overgrown yard, to merit having code enforcement rammed down our throat. Apparently one or more of our neighbors are that most vile of creatures - a busybody. This morning I heard a knock on our door. It was the lady from code enforcement. I politely accepted the paperwork she had for me and took it inside to read it.
We were charged with the following violation (spelling and grammar preserved - my inner editor is peeved at being served papers with obvious errors):
Overgrown vegetation, trash & debris. Property presents a Serious threat to the public health, safety and welfare. Complaints of snakes. Rats, have increased because of the condition of this property.
I just about went through the roof. I was so angry that I did something just about unheard of from me - I called the lady from code enforcement and told her we most certainly did NOT have rats. We always keep our trash in the appropriate bin issued by the city. We do not have any fruit trees. We do not have anything in our yard that would attract rats. She did not want to hear what I had to say and instead made a snippy comment to the effect of "oh, well, if you guys don't want to keep your lawn mowed..."
Since she was unhelpful, and I was still seriously steamed, I called up city hall and asked for her supervisor. She was polite and sympathetic, at least, and not at all snippy - though not necessarily overly helpful either, bureaucrats seldom are. I'll have to call her back though, because after I talked to my husband he said I should obtain a copy of the corrected paperwork, either with the sentence about rats removed or properly noted that we have disputed that charge.
Ugh. Still steamed.
Update: I have been advised that if we feel the paperwork needs to be updated that we will need to speak to an attorney, because Vanessa, the code enforcement lady's supervisor, cannot (will not?) update code enforcement paperwork once it has been filed with the city - even if the paperwork in question included unfounded statements.
"So you can say that we have rats, but you can't say that we don't have rats?"
"I can't say anything..."