Put a dumpster in your driveway, and the clock could start ticking.

City Council is considering legislation that would limit how long residents can keep large trash dumpsters on their property.

Residents could keep a dumpster up to 15 days if there is no active building permit. If there is a building permit, residents can keep the dumpster for 30 days.

If more time is needed, the building commissioner can grant an extension.

Violators could be fined up to $1,000 and possibly receive up to 180 days in jail. Residents will not be required to get a permit just to have the dumpster.

“We don’t have anything on the books right now which would let us deal with this,” said Ward 3 Councilman Paul Schumann, who introduced the legislation. “We wanted to get something which would allow us to take some action and not let something sit out there indefinitely.”

City Council’s Building, Zoning and Development Committee was scheduled to discuss the proposal Tuesday night.

Planning and Development Director Kim Lieber said the proposal strikes a balance.

“The ordinance gives residents the necessary resources for their home improvement projects where dumpsters are necessary, but aims to ensure they don't become an eyesore to neighbors,” Lieber said.

Noting he has had two complaints so far this year, Schumann said the issue is important to residents.

“People will let you know if they think something detracts from the area or homes and dumpsters being around can do that,” he said. “And water can collect in them, so if you’re not careful, you can get mosquitoes when it’s summer or you can get other pests in them.”

Making a distinction between people cleaning their home area and those with a project was an important part of the legislation, Schumann said.

“Someone might just be cleaning out their home or garage and that ideally shouldn’t take as long, so we thought 15 days was a fair time period for that type of work,” Schumann said. “When they’re replacing some of the roof or building project, that could take longer, so we thought 30 days would be fairer.”

Contact this reporter at assoceditor@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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