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Weed Abatement Program

Help Fire & Emergency Services prepare for fire season by clearing weeds.

Couple cutting an overgrown yard

Residents of Atascadero are encouraged to get an early start on weed abatement. Fire & Emergency Services’ mission, through its hazard reduction program, is to eliminate vegetative growth and/or refuse which may constitute a fire or life and safety hazard.

Initial field inspections begin each spring to identify parcels that have hazardous vegetative growth and/or refuse. Following the inspections, letters are mailed to the property owners that have hazardous weeds and/or refuse on their property, requesting them to remove the hazards. Property owners have until June 1st to complete the required abatement of the noxious weeds and/or refuse. If the abatement is not done by June 1st, the City’s weed abatement contractor will be authorized to clear the hazardous weeds and/or refuse for the residents.

If the City contractor must clear the weeds and/or refuse, the individual property owner will be billed at 166% of the total contractor's cost plus a flat fee of $282. Those charges will then be assessed on the individual owner's property tax bill.

Per the City of Atascadero Municipal Code, Title 6 Health and Sanitation, Chapter 13 Removal of Vegetative Growth and/or Refuse, and Ordinance No. 371, the following guidelines are to be adhered to.


Exemptions shall apply to any land beyond 50 feet from improved streets, as declared by the City, State or Federal Government, which has been acquired or is managed, for one or more of the following purposes:

a) Animal pastures and agricultural fields growing hay or grains. The interior portion of fenced pastures where the quantity of livestock significantly reduces the vegetative growth, therefore bringing the parcel into compliance. Agricultural fields must be cut at harvest time. Uncut hay and grain is subject to abatement.

b) Habitat for endangered or threatened species or any species that is a candidate for listing as an endangered or threatened species by the State of California or Federal Government.

c) Land kept in a predominantly natural state as habitat for wildlife, plant, or animal communities.

d) Open space lands that are environmentally sensitive parklands.

e) Other lands having scenic values.

Abatement requirements shall remain in effect in waterways where flood preparation measures and emergency flood control mitigation is necessary.

1) This exemption applies whether the land or water are held in fee title or any lesser interest. This exemption applies to any public agency, and private entity that has dedicated the land or water areas to one or more of those purposes or uses, or any combination of public agencies and private entities making that decision.

2) This section shall not be construed to prohibit the use of properly authorized prescribed burning to improve the biological function of land or to assist in the restoration of desired vegetation.

3) In the event that any lands adjacent to land or water areas, as described above, are improved such that they are subject to this chapter, the obligation to comply with Section 6-13.04 shall be with the person owning, leasing, controlling, operating, or maintaining the occupied dwelling or occupied structure on the improved lands. All maintenance, activities, and other fire prevention measures required by Section 6-13.04 shall be required only for the improved land, and water areas as described above.

The Fire Chief has established the following requirements:

Graphic showing weed abatement guidelines.

Clearance Requirement of Vegetative Growth (noxious weeds) Maximum height of 4 inches;

1. Located within 100 feet of any building or structure, or to the property line, whichever is nearer;

2. Located within 50 feet from the edge of any improved roadway;

3. Located within 50 feet from each property line;

4. Located within 10 feet on each side of driveways.

For violation reporting or current violation locations, please use the links below.