Archive for Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Trashed lawns have some Oread residents up in arms

October 18, 2005

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Picking up trash isn't that tough.

That's why Oread Neighborhood resident Candice Davis said she thinks the city is being too lenient by giving people 15 days to pick up beer bottles, cups and other litter before being cited under the city's trash ordinance.

"Just bend over and pick it up," Davis said.

Some Oread neighbors are proposing the city change the code to require people with trash in their yard to get it picked up within 24 to 48 hours.

Davis and other Oread residents met with City Manager Mike Wildgen on Monday and told him the trash situation in the largely student neighborhood was becoming a real concern.

"Frankly, I think it is beginning to look like a ghetto," said Davis, who has lived in the neighborhood for seven years.

Carol von Tersch, who has lived in Oread 25 years, said the trash runs the gamut - from beer bottles and fast food wrappers to a car battery that has been in the front yard of a residence for months.

"What really bothers me is when I walk through a block and notice trash in the yard, and then a month later it is the same trash in the same yard," von Tersch said.

Kansas University freshmen Molly Herman, Topeka, left, and Maggie Frerker, Overland Park, walk past an empty beer bottle in the 1300 block of Tennessee Street Monday, October 18, 2005.

Kansas University freshmen Molly Herman, Topeka, left, and Maggie Frerker, Overland Park, walk past an empty beer bottle in the 1300 block of Tennessee Street Monday, October 18, 2005.

Oread residents said they believed some Kansas City metro communities have much stricter ordinances that make property owners or tenants clean up in no more than a day or two. Davis said she thought many residents didn't even bother reporting the trash problems to the Lawrence officials because they viewed the ordinance as cumbersome.

The ordinance gives a property owner or tenant 15 days to pick up the trash before the city hires crews to come onto the property and do it. If the trash is picked up in 15 days, no fine is given.

Wildgen said his office would be happy to explore changes to the code, but said there was a reason the city gave ample notice.

"Typically, we are very hesitant to go onto someone's private property without giving them good notice," Wildgen said.

Victor Torres, the city's director of neighborhood resources, said the current ordinance wasn't used much for situations involving beer bottles or other party trash. He said it was designed more to deal with property owners who have accumulated junk cars, old appliances and other large pieces of trash that create an environmental blight.

Torres said the city may want to meet with Overland Park officials about their ordinance that gives property owners just a few days to clean up trash.

Davis said she thought Oread was losing its battle against litter.

"It seems like it is getting worse," Davis said. "I wonder if we are losing some homeowners who have lived in the neighborhood. There's not as many homeowners on each block to set the tone."

Wildgen said staff members would be made available to speak to the neighborhoods, landlords and tenants about the city's current trash ordinance.

He also told neighbors the city can remove trash immediately if it is on the right-of-way - such as between the sidewalk and the street - instead of in a person's yard.

Comments

trinity 9 years, 5 months ago

hey, wait a sec...my darling youngest child lives in the Oread neighborhood-in proximity to TWO of the "hottest" and busiest of night spots in town! is this fair to her&her fellow apartment dwellers, to have to pick up the refuse left by folks staggering past their building from the bars? i think not! sigh

tir 9 years, 5 months ago

I live in Oread, and every week I pick up trash that passersby and people driving by in cars throw into my yard. There's no way to know, short of mounting a video camera that runs 24/7/365, who threw what or when. I just pick it up and inwardly curse the tossers who tossed it. And not all of them live in the Oread neighborhood, either, although they use it as a dumping ground. No ordinance will ever stop the filth of the earth from spreading their filth--it's what the little beasts do best, rot them.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 5 months ago

Once again the residents of the Oread neighborhood are complaining...

Suck it up. You moved there, you knew what it was going to be like.

trueninetiesgirl 9 years, 5 months ago

the bars don't let you leave with a open container. its more then like trash from people ,that just throw it out of there windows ,that just don't care. is does suck always cleaning up after other people.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

24 to 48 hours is excellent. 15 days allows the wind to blow it elsewhere.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 5 months ago

Charge the tenants at least $100 and 5 week ends of cleaning up trash in addition to 24 - 48 hours notice. If they don't pay or clean up turn off the water.

born1980 9 years, 5 months ago

Its unfortunate, but what do these people honestly expect living so close to campus? Alot of people in Lawrence want all of the benefits of living in a college town without any of the problems.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 5 months ago

My home is just a little too far south to be called Oread (south of 19th), but I have to chime in with Tir and Trinity. Somehow, every Saturday night (Sunday morning, really), at least one person decides that my yard/driveway is the place to toss their empty beer containers. I don't always pick up the stuff right away. I don't let it sit for 2 weeks either!

There are advantages and disadvantages to every neighborhood, and one disadvantage to the Oread area is that some of the foot traffic puts irresponsible (drunk) people in front of your home. If you live in Oread, you can walk to campus, live in a home that has character and walk to downtown Lawrence to get Silas & Maddy's ice cream... but you also get to deal with the trash. That's just how it is.

Adrienne Sanders 9 years, 5 months ago

Actually, I didn't know what it was going to be like. I knew it was going to be loud (and it is), and I don't mind that. But i didn't realize there was going to be trash and broken glass everywhere, all the time.

IMHO, an ordinance like this is just going to p*ss people off as it results in them having to pick up other people's trash out of their yards. Something that might help a bit more: put public trash cans on the corners, like they have on campus. I don't think it would eliminate the trash b/c lazy, drunk people just don't care where they throw their beer bottles. But it should helpl

spikey_mcmarbles 9 years, 5 months ago

Why should behavior that's unacceptable in the East Lawrence, the Old West Lawrence, or the Alvamar neighborhoods be tolerated in the Oread neighborhoods?

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 5 months ago

HKP: Do you come here just to be a jerk? Is that your hobby? You act as if people should accept the trash of other people. Post your address. I have some trash to bring to you, and I'll write "suck it up" on each piece of garbage I leave for you. Are the citizens of Oread second-class to you? Are you saying "that's how it is on your side of the tracks, people 'like you' should just accept it"? Am I not to be afforded the same dignity that you experience where you live because I'm not living where all decent people (like yourself) live? Is this the punishment I should endure because I don't live in a beige house (next door to another beige house, next door to another beige house...) like you?

I've lived in Lawrence for 23 years, attended KU, and even once lived near 14th & Tennessee before buying my house SOUTH of Oread, and I can say that I DIDN'T think I'd have trash in my yard every week.

I grew up in NE Wichita, in a crime ridden area where bullets would fly, but we didn't have as much of a trash issue as I do right now. It's excessive.

I knew that I was not moving into Alvamar, but no, I didn't think that even drunks would be so rude as to do this in my yard. I'm beginning to wonder if the dog crap in my yard is really from a dog.

born1980 9 years, 5 months ago

The people who moved to Alvamar did so in part to be outside of the inner core. They wanted larger yards and a more residential feel. The last thing Lawrence needs is another ordinance. People in this town often forget that without KU it would be nothing. If you want the benefits of a college town, deal with what comes with the territory.

trinity 9 years, 5 months ago

ummm 90's, comb your mall bangs out&maybe you'll be able to think a little clearer(that and let up on the hairspray, hah)...sure you're not supposed to leave a bar w/a can, bottle, drink, whatever in your hand-and for the most part people do not. but the true drinkers&partiers sure do keep an awful good stash in their vehicles! ;)

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 5 months ago

Don't get me wrong, 1980. I agree. My wife's uncle is a dairy farmer. He lives with the constant stink of cow poop around him. His response? "That's the smell of money".

Every time a car load of college students goes racing down my street at 2:00 a.m. yelling "Woooo Hoooo!!!", I am reminded of how the tax revenues from beer sales are fixing the potholes in front of my house.

BUT, that doesn't mean that we don't work to fix what's wrong, and it doesn't mean that we should just say that if someone lives in Oread, they should have low expectations. Regardless of where I live in Lawrence, I have a right to peace, quiet and a trash-free yard. Just because we know that people will misbehave doesn't mean that the bad behavior should be embraced or that I should say "I deserve trash in my yard because of where I live".

donsalsbury 9 years, 5 months ago

Why not have the scholarship hall residents show their commitment to their neighborhood, and take the initiative to pick up trash in the Oread neighborhood every Sunday?

No, it's not the schol hall folks' fault (mostly), but what the hey? Why not turn it into a good thing? Then the homeowners in the Oread neighborhood could do nice things for the schol hall students in return...Sort of an Adopt-a-Block program that works both ways?

ozzynbn 9 years, 5 months ago

Throw big fines out at the litter bugs like they do with the DUI'ers and the Lawrence Police will be happy to apprehend the ne'er do wellers.

Adrienne Sanders 9 years, 5 months ago

As far as I can tell, Lawrence Police seem to ignore all the drunk, underage kids and exceedingly loud afterhours parties, those walking around with open containers, and whoever came up onto my porch and threw one of my potted plants in the street. (Next year I'm planting poison ivy.)

Why aren't the LPD making their presence known?

lawrencechick 9 years, 5 months ago

Whoever uses the excuse that "it's a college town- deal with the trash" is pathetic and obviously a low life themselves. I went to KU for 4 years, partied at The Hawk and the Wheel and never once trashed someone's property. Grow up!

delta77 9 years, 5 months ago

A volunteer effort to clean up garbage is certainly something to look into. I wouldn't put it on the schol halls' shoulders, but we have enough students that I'm sure we could make an impact on the problem.

Please try to remember that the vast majority of students are respectful, but it's a small number that hurt our efforts to work with the community.

born1980 9 years, 5 months ago

lawrencechick: who the hell are you to call me a lowlife? I also went to KU and never trashed the yards around the Hawk. However, too often people have living around the campus act caught off guard at the problems that arise. I'm not saying it can't be improved upon, but sometimes they have unrealistic expectations.

D_1982 9 years, 5 months ago

oh boy, the ONA is at it again.

The ONA is a very vocal minority, hellbent on scapegoating the student majority in neighborhood.

Students care about this neighborhood, but lothe being villianized by the "land-owning" residents of the Oread. We could work together and solve more of our problems.

Slumlords who permit property to go to hell hurt property values, and drive the price of better rental units up by comparison. The ONA, and students, mutual opponents are Slumlords.

D_1982 9 years, 5 months ago

What these ONA busybodies probably aren't aware of is that there is a Community group that cleans the neighborhood every weekend.

This group is entirely students. Not by design, or constitution. ONA 'elders' simply havn't come forth to volunteer.

It seems the ONA would rather ask the city to clean up what they're not willing to themselves.

Harry_Manback 9 years, 5 months ago

I grew up in Overland Park, and I really hope Lawrence doesn't start resorting to their city codes. I think it is bad to leave trash in your yard for that long, but in OP if you leave trash out for even a day there is a cop outside your door. Maybe they have nothing better to do in OP, but I think they do out here. In OP neighbors spy on one another, and report each other for silly things like the grass being too long or trash being in the yard (only once, not repeatedly). They also spy on neighbors and report parties if the people there look young (one time the cops showed up at my friends party where everyone was of age, another time cops came to my parents house because a neighbor said they saw me and some friends smoking joints...it was really just cigarettes). These are the things I don't miss about OP, and I really hope that Lawrence doesn't become that way. Out here people usually respect each other's privacy, and I hope it stays like that.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 9 years, 5 months ago

Well now, OldEnuf, there you go hurtin' my feelings. Believe it or not, no, I don't come on here with the intention of being a jerk. I write about things as I see them. I don't burden myself with sugarcoating it for those who have thin skin.

Frankly, I really don't understand why you're getting in such a tizzy. You don't even live in the Oread Neighborhood! Yes, you have trash on your yard. That sucks. Guess what? The majority of places with heavy foot traffic have that! You might also point the finger at the LARGE HIGH SCHOOL near your house (judging by what you've said of its location).

My comment for the residents of Oread was more in relation to the fact that they are ALWAYS complaining about something. People can tell that it's a slummy looking area when they drive through it, so why does it always seem to be such a shock to those that choose to buy a home there?! There's a reason it's referred to as the "student ghetto". First, the older Oread residents complain about the bar noise, then about the bar traffic, then back to the noise, then on to trash, then to scholarship halls, then back to the bars, then to parking...Geez, get over it! They knew what they were getting!!

rousseau108 9 years, 5 months ago

whew, you guys had me worried there. for a minute i thought i was going to read through all the post w/o anyone blaming the cops for this problem. i should've known you guys wouldn't let me down. here's a point to consider: the lpd doesn't enforce this ordinance, it's handled by the zoning dept. please excuse the lpd for not being able to station an officer at everyone's doorstep to prevent littering in the middle of the night, they're busy breaking up fights, responding to burglaries/robberies, answering false business alarms, and yes responding to complaints of loud parties, etc. try and have slightly more realistic expectations and maybe you won't be so disappointed and bitter all the time.

D_1982 9 years, 5 months ago

First it was Porch Couches. And we the ONA got an ordinance.

Then it was Single Family Zoning. And the ONA got another ordinance.

Next came Parking.

Then it was to prevent KU from purchasing and destroying a delapidated squatter house.

Then the ONA got grumpy about noisy (and not so noisy) parties. That's right, another ordinance.

Now they want a trash ordinance.

As someone who's in the past lived in houses zoned for 3 but rented by 5, keeps 4 couches on the front porch, thrown some wild parties, and prefers to park on the street rather than my driveway I say to the ONA;

ordinances do not work.

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