Noxious vegetation
When growth gets out of hand

The City’s Municipal Code requires maintenance and/or the removal of vegetation that poses a hazard to traffic, safety, and community health. Vegetation that obstructs walkways or roadways, for example, creates mobility challenges for pedestrians and vehicles, and brush that has been left to overgrow and become brittle is at risk of creating a wildfire. On top of that, plants that post significant health risks because of their poisonous effects can make it downright impossible for anyone in their proximity to enjoy the outdoors.

In Happy Valley, it is the property owner’s responsibility to ensure noxious vegetation such as grass, blackberry bushes, ivy, and other plant life do not become a problem. Community Service Officers have the responsibility of reminding residents to be mindful of this, so we’d like to encourage the community to check on their yards, parking strips, and any other property to confirm this type of vegetation isn’t posing a concern. Our team will work with you to devise a plan of action should your property be out of compliance, but ultimately it is up to property owners to take care of any concerns and avoid a formal citation.

Noxious vegetation includes:

  • Weeds more than 10 inches high
  • Grass more than 10 inches high
  • Trees, bushes, roots, other natural growth, soil, or solid waste that obstructs public sidewalks or roadways.
  • Dead or decaying trees or tree limbs, dead bushes, stumps, and any other thing likely to cause a fire or that present a safety hazard to the public or to neighboring property owners.
  • Uncontrolled growth of weeds, bush, berry vines, poison oak, poison ivy or grasses which provides a place of refuge for rodents, contributes noxious pollens to the atmosphere, poses a fire hazard or unreasonably interferes with use and enjoyment of public or private property.
  • Trees and bushes on property or right of way need to be trimmed to at least 7 feet about sidewalk area and 11 feet about streets or alleys.
  • Hedges, shrubs etc., need to be trimmed, allowing a minimum of three feet of horizonal clearance between the edge of pavement and hedges, shrubs, or other vegetation.

For more information or to review the City’s rules as they relate to street trees and planter strips, check out 8.08.290 of the Happy Valley Municipal Code at happyvalleyor.gov/city-code.


Vegetation that has been left unattended can dry out and create wildfire kindling. Be sure to remove hazardous ladder fuels and visit Ready.gov/wildfires for more safety tips.

Blackberries are synonymous with summer snacking, but when left to their own devices, these plants will run amok. Keep tabs on blackberry bushes and ensure they are well maintained. These bushes should never encroach on walkways or create a visibility challenge.

Grass that has been left to grow too long is not only an aesthetic eyesore, but it poses a health and safety hazard when it lends itself to nesting critters and home to other invasive plant life.