Roeland Park approves regulations for Little Free Libraries in the city

This Little Free Library is in Roeland Park on Rosewood near Ash.
This Little Free Library is in Roeland Park on Rosewood near Ash.

Little Free Libraries now have their own set of regulations in Roeland Park after the city council approved a revised ordinance Monday to put some restrictions on where and how they can be placed in the city.

LFLs already exist in Roeland Park and had not been regulated. If a LFL meets all of the requirements of the ordinance, homeowners are not required to get a permit. The new ordinance allows the libraries only on single-family residential lots as well as school and public property.

It also limits each LFL to one per address. In some NEJC cities, the LFLs have spread to commercial areas and multiple boxes per residence.

In early May the council sent the set of regulations back to the planning commission for revision. The only substantial revision added is that the libraries must be five feet from the curb. The ordinance also places a size limitation on the box and its height from the ground. They cannot be placed in a public easement.

The LFLs also must be placed in the front yard between the house and curb, although an exception is available for churches and schools.

The allowance for LFLs on public property was added after Councilor Sheri McNeill reported interest in placing one at the community gardens.

The ordinance that was revised Monday also regulates fences, walls and outside storage among other areas. Roeland Park permits storage of one boat, camping trailer, pickup camper, motor home or recreational vehicle, but not in the front yard. Storage areas are not required to be paved. The council was told that storage regulations had not changed since the 1990s.