September 6, 2013

Logansport council trashes rubbish bin rule change

Amendment falters on second reading.

by Mitchell Kirk

---- — The authority to enforce regulations for commercial trash containers won't be changing hands after all.

Trash bin regulations are located in city's zoning ordinance, meaning the board of zoning appeals enforces them. They include prohibiting the bins from being located in front yards, side yards, parking areas or buffer yards and stipulating that they must be opaquely screened from public streets and adjacent properties.

Up until recently, city officials were planning to amend the zoning ordinance to dictate that these rules only be enforced in the city's fringe district and not the city itself.

Officials said this would pave the way for legislation authorizing the city's building commissioner and code enforcement officer to enforce these rules in the city.

In a 0-7 vote Tuesday, Logansport City Council struck down the amendment on its second reading that would have stripped the zoning ordinance of its commercial trash container regulations in the city. Its first reading resulted in a narrow 4-3 approval.

Logansport-Cass County Planning Director Arin Shaver, City Attorney Randy Head and Mayor Ted Franklin met over the time between the two votes to further discuss who should be regulating the containers. Eventually they determined they were where they needed to be all along.

"We talked about it with the mayor about who ought to have the authority to enforce that," Head said. "We don't want two groups of people out enforcing the same rule."

Shaver gave a negative recommendation on the amendment at the council meeting Tuesday before its unanimous disapproval.

"We now feel it's better to keep it in the zoning ordinance to keep it consistent with the city and the fringe," she told council members.

Logansport Building Commissioner Bill Drinkwine could not be reached for comment. In an interview for a previous article, he said because his and Code Enforcement Officer George Franklin positions force them to be out and about often, that they would be able to enforce trash bin regulations more efficiently.

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or