PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. – Plymouth Township has named professional landscaping an “essential service” under certain conditions, officials announced.
Landscaping has been at the forefront of the political battle over what should and shouldn’t be allowed during Michigan’s stay-at-home order.
Plymouth Township Supervisor Kurt Heise announced Wednesday that some landscapers won’t be subject to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders.
“As supervisor of the charter township of Plymouth, I am hereby deeming certain professional landscaping services as essential functions of our township government for the following reasons and conditions, and therefore not subject to police enforcement under the various orders of the governor,” Heise said.
Here are three reasons for the decision, laid out by the township:
- The township maintains a Grass & Weed Ordinance that is currently in effect and is binding on all homes and businesses within the township. Failure to abide by this ordinance carries with it financial and administrative penalties.
- The township has a public health and safety interest in maintaining clean and well-kept properties, free of vermin, insects, mosquitoes and debris. This also lessens the health burden on residents with seasonal allergies, asthma and similar conditions.
- The township has a public health and safety interest in seeing that senior citizens and other vulnerable adults with health or physical limitations can maintain their properties without exposing themselves to physical harm or health risks.
The decision applies only to grass and weed maintenance and cutting, which includes lawn mowing, edging, applying fertilizer and servicing trees and bushes. Irrigation system seasonal start-ups and required maintenance are also included.
The guidance document doesn’t apply to other nonessential landscaping services, such as mulch application, brick paving, water features/fountains or other primarily decorative outdoor services.
Officials said it is expected that landscaping service providers will adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for coronavirus (COVID-19) distancing requirements and other best practices that pertain to their industry.
The guidance document may be recalled based on changes in conditions or non-compliance by the landscape operators or their employees, according to officials.