Roeland Park inches toward relaxing trash container screening requirements


By Holly Cook

A more relaxed version of Roeland Park’s city code on trash/recycle bin screening got a step closer to reality Monday after the council agreed to list the item as new business at an upcoming meeting.

The current code requires all bins be screened so they are not visible from any street. The updated code would not require screening for bins placed in the backyard. Bins at the front of the home would still need sufficient screening so they are not visible from the street.

The updated code also provides an exemption for disabled or elderly residents and provides an amnesty period for inclement weather.

Residents violating the code could face a $10 fine.

City staff said the current code has been too stringent to enforce and proposed lessening requirements during a November workshop. The council also discussed the issue during a January workshop meeting and city staff presented the amended screening guidelines during Roeland Park’s January 23 Community Forum.

Assistant City Administrator Jennifer Jones-Lacy said the minimal feedback the city received on screening was “very mixed.”
Jones-Lacy said once the city starts enforcing the updated code she would expect council members to hear complaints.

“At this point there are a lot of people who do no attempt at shielding,” Jones-Lacy said.

Councilmember Becky Fast noted concerns with language requiring a four-sided screen.

“Personally I think it’s unrealistic right now,” Fast said.

City staff said a house could serve as the fourth screen.

Councilmembers indicated the requirement that bins at the front of the house could not be viewable from the street should be sufficient and suggested the four-sided screen provision be removed. City staff said they would remove the sentence.

Councilmember Michael Rhoades said he thought the amended code was “very accommodating.”