GIRARD Ordinance on trash bins faces scrutiny

The zoning appeals board has six cases challenging the ordinance.
GIRARD -- City council and the zoning board of appeals will be getting together to discuss problems with what is known as the "Dumpster Ordinance."
Councilman Reynald Paolone, D-1st, and the appeals board called for the meeting, tentatively set during a caucus before the May 11 council meeting.
The ordinance governing trash bins at commercial businesses and apartments was approved by lawmakers Sept. 13, 1999.
The measure calls for containers to be placed on concrete slabs with a three-sided solid fence to hide it from public view.
Initial problem: Rex Funge of the city's engineering/zoning office said the initial problem with the ordinance was that the city itself had trash containers that didn't comply with the regulations.
It look officials until January or February of this year to get its containers enclosed, he said.
Bin owners sent letters to their more than 200 customers, making them aware of the law with a copy of the ordinance and a drawing of how to enclose them.
Funge said property owners who lease the containers have until Sept. 1 to enclose them.
Cases pending: The zoning appeals board, Funge said, already has six appeal requests.
In four cases, businesses contend the containers can't be seen by the public because they are already hidden behind buildings.
In the two other cases, apartment owners argue that they constructed their buildings based on city code and the city is not changing that law. Also, they assert, the fencing decreases parking space.
Funge noted that some business owners don't want to spend the money to enclose the containers. Others comply with the law by constructing a three-sided barrier, but with the container still visible to the public.
Mayor James Melfi agrees the legislation should be reviewed.
He pointed out the law was needed because some property owners placed containers in front of apartments, adjacent to houses.
However, there are containers in industrial areas where enclosing them isn't an issue.

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