Roeland Park council seeks input from residents on proposed changes to requirements to screen garbage cans

Trash cans left out

By Holly Cook

Roeland Park city councilmembers and staff are seeking feedback from residents on a proposed ordinance that would lessen the requirements for screening trash and recycling bins.

Currently the city’s rule requires that bins are screened so they are not viewable from “any street or roadway.” City staff said the code is too stringent to enforce.

The new ordinance would not require bins located at the back of the house to be screened, even if they are viewable from the street. Bins located at the front or side of a home would need screening on all four sides of the bins. The wall of a house or garage can act as one side of screening.

Violators are subject to a $10 fine.

Exemptions may be granted for residents who are elderly or disabled. Owners of homes with an irregular size lot can also apply for an exemption. City staff will decide whether to grant exceptions on a case by case basis.

The ordinance also allows for certain exemptions during snowy or icy weather.

This is the second time in recent months the council has discussed amending the ordinance. An earlier version did not include an exception for inclement weather and did not specify that bins placed in backyards did not need screening.

Roeland Park councilors Michael Poppa, Tim Janssen, Erin Thompson and Sheri McNeil questioned if the latest revisions were still too strict.

“I think we are kind of going overboard on this honesty,” McNeil said.

Poppa said he couldn’t decide whether to support the revised ordinance and said he wanted to hear feedback from residents. Poppa said that while it was important the city looked nice he didn’t want to impose a hardship on residents.

Mayor Joel Marquardt was supportive of the proposed changes and said he didn’t think the requirements were too onerous.

Councilor Michael Rhoades requested councilors talk with residents about the issue to gather opinions. Rhoades also suggested putting the item on the January 23 Community Forum which councilors agreed to. The forum will be at 6 p.m. at the Roeland Park Community Center, 4850 Rosewood Drive.