Carrollton City Council considers new definitions on excess toys, rubbish, debris

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By Sharon Graves

Carrollton City Council held its first reading Monday, March 9, of an amendment to the city's nuisance ordinance to define and include excess toys, rubbish and other debris.  

City attorney Nick Marsh began drafting the amendment at the request of council and code enforcement officer Art Zook, following discussion about the ordinance at the previous council meeting.

Zook asked council in February for something to address excessive toys, building materials and general rubbish left in yards for long periods of time. City Council members Dean Miller Jr. and Tammy McBurney objected to the concept of restricting excessive toys.

If approved on the second reading, the amendment to ordinance 92.03(B) would address an accumulation of items such as broken lawn furniture, building materials and toys.

Miller wanted to know what was considered excessive. Marsh said it is what a "reasonable and ordinary person" would consider excessive — not a government official, but any resident.

McBurney admitted that she thought the idea was crazy when it was first presented to council in February, but said she later drove around town and noticed many yards with toys that are never played with and never moved.  

What if you and your neighbor don’t get along and they don’t like what goes on in your yard, Miller asked.

“I don’t think we want to give neighbors ammunition,” said councilman Adam Raker, but added that people often leave so much stuff in their yards, they can’t mow the grass.

Council voted to strike a redundant sentence from the ordinance amendment. Miller cast the sole dissenting vote on the first reading.

In an interview following the meeting, Zook said believes the proposed amendment will address the needs of the community.  “I think it will be very useful,” Zook said.

In other business:

  • Council adopted on the second reading an ordinance tol allow funeral homes as a conditional use in all residential districts.
  • Limb cleanup will continue in the city limits, according to Public Works Supervisor Ron Knight. Knight also reported that the roof on the shelter house in Point Park, damaged in the ice storm, will be repaired soon and the park's public bathrooms will open soon.