While the councilmen agreed to instruct city attorney Blinn
Bates to write the ordinance, what they didn't agree on is what the
ordinance will say.
Alderman David Wilmert made the motion to
write the ordinance, and it was seconded by Stacy Bacon.
During discussion Wilmert said that he was proposing to make one
change to the document he'd given to aldermen last week.
Last week's version of the ordinance read:
"Parking of up to two trailers allowed using any
configuration below. Any open trailer containing yard waste,
appliances, waste, refuge, recyclables, scraps, or junk must be
covered and stored in the back yard if one exists. No such open
container trailer to appear in front yard or side yard covered
"Front yard. Parking is permitted on the driveway or an all
weather surface attached thereto. All weather surfaces must be
contiguous. Parking must not extend into the city street
right-of-way or block any sidewalk if one exists.
"Example: the owner of a home with a standard two wide
driveway parks cars on the drive builds gravel pad next to
driveway up by the garage to store camper.
"For side yards; for corner houses, same as above."
Wilmert said there was a problem with the language regarding
trailers in the backyard containing waste products, and he wanted to
amend that section to say that the use of the trailers in the
backyards must still comply with current codes regarding nuisance
Marty Neitzel asked if John Lebegue of the building and safety
office had any input on this.
Lebegue said the nuisance ordinance says no one can accumulate
trash in a trailer. He said this has been a big problem and one that
he has had to deal with numerous times in the past.
He told the council that keeping the original language in the new
ordinance was giving violators a way around the law where they can
argue that they have a right to have the trailer of trash in their
Lebegue said this was a serious concern for him, as trailers with
garbage, lawn waste, even old appliances, covered or not, will
attract animals, create odors and generally cause problems.
Wilmert said that point was well taken, and he understood that
the city didn't want this going on, but at the same time, he was
trying to think about those who had a temporary situation, such as
cleaning out a house. As he has in the past, Wilmert again voiced a
concern that making the rules too strict prevented people from doing
what they needed to do on a temporary basis.
He felt like adding the section about complying with the nuisance
ordinance would be enough.
Neitzel had suggested that Wilmert withdraw his motion and table
this for another workshop discussion, but Wilmert said he was
inclined to continue with his motion.
He told the council that the motion to have the city attorney
write the ordinance could be passed and the language could be
discussed at the next workshop.
[to top of second column]
Neitzel moved back to how the new ordinance reads currently. She
said that as it was written, there were no limits on people keeping
a trailer of yard waste in their backyard.
Wilmert said there were limits according to the nuisance
ordinance, and those limits would be enforced.
Lebegue was then asked how he enforces the nuisance ordinance. He
said he generally drives through an area and notes a trailer with
trash, old appliances or yard waste. He then goes back in a few
days, and if it is still there, he investigates why.
Also during the discussions, it came up that Bates had sent out
an email to aldermen, voicing concern about the language as Wilmert
had written it.
Bacon said she was disturbed by the email in that it was not sent
to herself or Wilmert. She also said Bates, who was not present
Monday night, was voicing his personal opinion, and she felt he
should stick to giving legal opinions.
Tom O'Donohue spoke up also, agreeing with Lebegue and saying
that the language of the new ordinance gave people not complying
with the nuisance ordinance a new leg to stand on.
Jonie Tibbs also said she was not in favor of anyone being able
to have a trailer of old appliances sitting on their property. She
recalled a bad situation the city ran into a few years ago and how
it was a battle to get a homeowner to get rid of a truck full of old
It was mentioned one more time that perhaps Wilmert should table
the vote. However, he told the council he felt they should vote now
and discuss the language at the next workshop meeting. He drew all
discussion to a close when he simply said, "Call for the question."
When the roll was called, Melody Anderson, Neitzel, O'Donohue and
Tibbs voted no; David Armbrust, Bacon, Jeff Hoinacki, Kathy Horn,
and Wilmert voted yes; and the motion passed 5-4.
It is expected that at next week's workshop session the council
will try to iron out the language in question. This problem pertains
only to the paragraphs regarding backyard parking of trailers. The
council appeared to have no concerns about the sections addressing
parking of boats and trailers in driveways or adjacent all-weather
[By NILA SMITH]
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