MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City is being asked tonight to solidify the interpretation of City Code in dealing with the maintenance of public right-of-way abutting private property.

The area between the sidewalk or property line and the curb or edge of pavement is commonly called the “parking strip”. This area is within the government-owned right-of-way.

Director of Development Services Steven Van Steenhuyse says it’s understood that the property owner is responsible for maintaining the parking strip, but staff recently researched City Code and found that while that requirement is implied, it’s not explicit, and that’s why the council is being asked to ensure there’s an explicit ordinance mandating mowing and maintenance of the abutting public right-of-way.

The issue came up recently when the city mowed the adjacent right-of-way of a commercial business on 4th Street Southwest when the owner failed to do so in accordance with the city’s weed ordinance. The owner disputed their responsibility for mowing the adjacent right-of-way.

The council will consider an amendment to the ordinance to codify that responsibility when they meet tonight at 7 o’clock in the Mason City Room of the Public Library.