City Still Tweaking Trash Can Placement Changes

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Athens City Council is still working out the kinks in proposed changes to its ordinance regarding trash can and recycling bin placement, which are slated to take effect at the start of 2015.
Changes to the ordinance were introduced during Monday’s council meeting, but at least one council member said she thinks some of the language is too vague.
The proposed changes would amend the law stating that trash cans and recycling bins should be kept “out of view from the street behind the front edge of the house.” The law would instead state that cans should be out of view “from the property’s street address.”
Changes have also been recommended to provide waivers to residents who are unable to hide trash cans due to “age, disability or extenuating circumstances.” The service-safety director or her designee would grant the waiver.
Councilwoman Michele Papai said she felt the phrase “extenuating circumstances” is too broad and could lead to residents using a multitude of excuses for not properly hiding their trash receptacles.
City Auditor Kathy Hecht recommended that the city keep the term
“extenuating circumstances” or similar language to accommodate homeowners who don’t have the space on their property to hide the cans. She said some properties have topography issues that leave little room for trash can storage out of view.
Councilwoman Chris Fahl asked that Athens City Law Director Patrick Lang help craft language to make the ordinance less vague.
The changes have been proposed in order to keep the appearance of homes in the city tidy. There have been several complaints about trashcans and recycling bins being stored in view from the street.
Resident Joan Krananski told council on Monday that she believes the language should be changed to state that such receptacles should be kept out of street view or street-address view for corner lots.
Typically ordinances become law 30 days after their passage. However, Councilwoman Chris Knisely said the proposed changes would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015, to allow the city to educate residents on the new law.