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Sheet Mulching in violation of city code?  RSS feed

 
Cindi Martineau
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I just found this in my cities ordinance codes:

Except as otherwise provided in Chapter 1060 of the Streets, Utilities and Public Services Code, no person shall cast, place, sweep or deposit in any manner whatsoever, or allow to accumulate, in or upon any street, sidewalk, alley, park, public place, drain, sewer, gutter or receiving basin in the City, or upon any private premises, any paper, pasteboard, straw, excelsior, shavings, chips, sawdust, wood, rope, twine, wool, cotton, flax, hemp, jute, rubber, leather, ashes, cinders, soot, charcoal, coal, sand, clay, mud, gravel, lime, shells, mortar, leather, ashes, cinders, soot, charcoal, coal, slag, dust, earth, sand, clay, mud, gravel, lime, shells, mortar, plaster, tar, hay, grass, leaves, weeds, grain, salt, hair, feathers, moss, shucks, bark, brick, stone, wire, nails, tacks, iron, tin, brass, copper, glass or pottery; or.any kind of garbage, refuse or offal, whether animal or vegetable; or any slops, suds, swill, brine, rinsing, dishwater, urine; or any dirty, foul, bloody or ill-smelling liquid; or any excrement, manure, carrion or dead fish, fowl or animal; or any fruit or vegetable or any portion thereof; or any kind of dirt, rubbish, waste article, household furniture, utensils or appliances or any of the parts thereof; or a motor vehicle which is currently unlicensed, lacks any of the tires or wheels for which the vehicle was designed or is incapable of being moved under its own power; or any part of a motor vehicle; or any thing or substance whatsoever, whether or not of the same nature as the articles, things or substances herein specifically mentioned.

This section shall not apply to organic matter that can be properly composted, nor to the deposit of material under a permit authorized by the ordinances of the City; nor to goods, wares or merchandise temporarily deposited upon any street, sidewalk, alley or other public place in the necessary course of trade, and removed therefrom within two hours after being so deposited; nor to articles or things deposited in or conducted into the City sewerage system through lawful drains in accordance with the ordinances of the City relating thereto; nor to any parcel of land where junk yards or storage yards are permitted by these Codified Ordinances.

I am astounded and disbelieving. I have just begun to sheet mulch a lot of my property and it seems that I'm going against the law!! Is this common? I believe that this particular code was written in 1994 and it may be unlikely that I'll get turned in for it. Anyone else had to deal with this? or looked up and found code like this?
 
Cindi Martineau
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P.S. I'm using cardboard, straw, and plan to add leaves as they fall. I may end up covering all of the sheet mulched areas with a layer of compost that I'll have to have delivered.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Not exactly that problem, but yeah. Code is written to completely deny any use but as long as neighbors don't complain they don't do anything about it.

That code is humorous in it's detail...
 
Cindi Martineau
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R Scott wrote:Not exactly that problem, but yeah. Code is written to completely deny any use but as long as neighbors don't complain they don't do anything about it.

That code is humorous in it's detail...


Yes, very detailed. They forgot to add that you can't make piles of meteorites, which might become a problem!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I see it says "This section shall not apply to organic matter that can be properly composted". Sheet composting and mulch are not what they're trying to prevent. These things are written quite broadly, so that the city can stop some unheard of silliness under an existing law, rather than drafting something new every time an illegal dump crops up.
 
Cindi Martineau
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I think you are probably right. I'm recovering from my initial shock and logical thinking is settling back in.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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Cindi Martineau wrote:
R Scott wrote:Not exactly that problem, but yeah. Code is written to completely deny any use but as long as neighbors don't complain they don't do anything about it.

That code is humorous in it's detail...


Yes, very detailed. They forgot to add that you can't make piles of meteorites, which might become a problem!


METEORITES! I knew they missed something.

It is hard to write common sense into law. Dale is probably right. And it will work like that as long as the code enforcers have common sense, but if they don't--LOOK OUT!
 
David Hartley
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If anything should arise from what you are doing... Just remember: always play the role of an ignorant and concerned citizen, using lots of "wow" and "oh my" statements
 
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