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Iowa City defers action on garbage-can plans

BY NICK HASSETT | FEBRUARY 20, 2013 5:00 AM

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After the Iowa City City Council seemed split on the issue of waste-container location, the council decided to defer action on the matter until a future meeting.

The ordinance would have required that waste containers on residential properties be stored behind the building line of residential structures or screened from public view.

Iowa City City Councilor Michelle Payne thought the ordinance was punishing homeowners who didn’t have any trash issues.

“I’m at a loss as to why we would do this and make all people suffer for the sins of a few,” she said. “Everybody in town doesn’t have a problem with their trash can.”

Payne also expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the ordinance.

“If someone is being a slob, and they move the [waste container] 3 feet to the side of the house, does that really fix the problem?” she said.

The ordinance was developed after the North Side Neighborhood Association brought concerns about the issue to city staff.

Other councilors had concerns about the process a property owner would undergo if there was a complaint, the cost of screening measures, and whether other neighborhoods should be contacted on the issue.

Ultimately, the council voted to defer action on the ordinance by a 7-0 vote.

“I don’t see a great reason to move forward with a split vote,” Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek said.  “This clearly doesn’t seem like something we should be divided on.”


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