This January, the Sylvania Township zoning office had 19 nuisance complaints, compared to 6 such reports in January, 2016. It was an unusual surge for an office which doesn’t normally get a big increase until spring, when people complain about high grass and weeds.

Of this January’s complaints, 13 came from citizens, while 6 were logged by the township’s compliance officer during what the office describes as sweeps.

Dean Boyers, the township compliance officer, uses a road department map which cuts the township into zones. During his sweeps he travels every street in each zone looking for code violations.

He’s gearing up for what is traditionally the busiest time of the year, when lawns begin to grow and people start to report shabby looking yards in their neighborhoods.

Mr. Boyers, a former Sylvania Township firefighter who retired with the rank of lieutenant, said overgrown lawns probably rank at the top of complaints from the public and the violations he sees on his sweeps through the township.

Another big complaint concerns people who store and park boats and recreational vehicles improperly in their driveways.

Items of that nature must often be moved further back from the street. Township regulations say they must be behind the front line of the house on the property.

Daryl Graus, manager of the zoning and planning office, said that many of those cases is just a matter of the homeowner not knowing the rules.

“Most of those complaints are taken care of when we explain the regulations,” Mr. Graus said. Property owners are notified by letter if a violation is found, although Mr. Boyers said he tries to notify the occupant as soon as he sees a violation.

“I’d rather let them know in person,” he said. “We can then discuss the issue and hopefully come to a resolution right away.”

It’s not that the township wants to create a problem, but that for the good of everyone who lives in Sylvania Township, each property owner should keep up the appearance of their property.

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