CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (WJW) — Is an initiative to save money and the environment backfiring?

It’s called No Mow May in Cleveland Heights but some residents call it a dangerous nuisance.

“I’ve personally witnessed from my porch cars coming in and out of driveways and not being able to see pedestrians to where people almost got hit,” said Ernest Pace.

Mayor Kahlil Seren signed an executive order for No Mow May 2023 saying that the city was “suspending related code enforcement and reducing mowing of public properties.”

Basically, people and the city don’t have to cut the grass for the entire month.

On Facebook the city said it would, “save water, save money, reduce air and noise pollution and create better conditions for invertebrates like bees and fireflies.”  

WJW photo

At the time they promised to address any health and safety concerns that might arise.

However, Monday night, residents told FOX 8 that their concerns are being ignored and growing.

“I’ve got children myself, even when they walk to school in certain areas they have to walk in the street because the yards are so high,” said Pace.

Pace and his family live next to a vacant home. After several weeks of neglect the grass is now several feet tall.

“Some parts are even higher than that, I’m 6’2″ and there are parts of this lawn up to my chest,” said Pace.

Another woman who asked to only be identified by her first name Lisa said, “This is ridiculous! We pay our taxes and look over there at the yards. Terrible!”

Both residents said they haven’t seen any bees or fireflies, but they are seeing a lot of weeds and critters from deer to coyotes, mice and snakes.

“I’m starting to see those big groundhogs, I mean really big!” said Lisa, “And skunks, rats I’ve been here over 50 years and I’ve never seen this.” 

They also question why the city leaders aren’t responding to their streets but are maintaining other parts of the city.

“It’s a lot of hypocrisy, you drive by city hall and the yards are perfectly manicured and cut,” said Pace, “But yet they can’t send someone out to take care of these health and safety concerns.”

Pace said he’s tried calling and emailing city leaders more than a dozen times and that each time he is told they will be out in June.

We also tried but were unable to get a comment from the mayor Monday night.

Residents remain upset and say June can’t come fast enough.

“This is a serious safety issue,” said Pace, “And we still have a whole other week and a half before they address it.”