Sound Off

Sound Off: I was wondering if there is a city law on how much trash and junk you can have in your front yard? A house in our neighborhood has trash from Thanksgiving still in their yard and that’s just some of the junk. Every day, there is some new junk laying out there. It makes our neighborhood look like a landfill.

Yes, the city’s Environmental Code prohibits exterior storage of junk or refuse in yards, porches or driveways. To file a complaint, contact the Code Enforcement Division at (785) 832-7700 or file a complaint online at


overthemoon 4 years ago

Just since Thanksgiving? The toilets have been sitting in my neighbor's driveway for YEARS.

LadyJ 4 years ago

LOL, when we got our house, there was a row of toilet bowls along the driveway with dirt and flowers in them. Waste not, want not. They left quickly though.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

In the 1960s, there was an article in 'The Rocky Mountain News' about a hippy car. It was painted in psychedelic colors and the roof had been jumped on to cave it in. Then dirt was placed on the roof, and plastic flowers were planted there.

And, the seats had been replaced with four toilets.

It was a legal car, and was being driven around Denver. And then, the hippy was drafted and had to go to Vietnam.

Bummer, man.

Tony Holladay 4 years ago

Nooooooooo!!! It's Art. Yard Art!

Robert Rauktis 4 years ago

They are underprivileged and it's not really their fault. Blame their upbringing and society and give mom and Obama a ticket.

Haiku_Cuckoo 4 years ago

Since it affects his property value it is his business. If people want to live like slobs, they could at least store their junk in the back yard instead of the front.

Jayhawk_4_Life 4 years ago

mind your own business? it's disgusting and not only makes the neighborhood look bad, but the whole city as well.

honestone 4 years ago

This city allows chickens, pigs and hedgehogs as pets. Does a little trash make that much of a diff? I don't like the color the people down the street painted their house too. maybe they should have just talked to the property owners rather then sneak a complaint to city hall.

Keith 4 years ago

Does K. T. have a new neighbor?

iron_outlaw 4 years ago

There's also a law against parking your car in your yard.

doc1 4 years ago

I don't believe there is a City Code for it in Lawrence. Other towns however do. It's under the health enforcement code.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 4 years ago

It might be art to some people. The governement should fund it. Some piles of trash look better than some of the crap I see touted as art.

LogicMan 4 years ago

I see trashy properties outside city limits too. Is there a similar law for out there, and by whom?

engagedecoy 4 years ago

That would be a negative. If you live outside the city limit, guess what, you can do just about anything you want, including but no limited to:
Shooting Guns, Filling your yard with trash, filling your yard with junk cars, screaming at the top of your lungs, play loud music all hours of the night, etc.

Basically, if you want to have freedom over your property, live outside city limits.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years ago

Some of us to take pride in what our yard/house looks like. Then you have neighbors who leave junk cars in their driveways for years! On our street we have a person who has 3 cars parked in his yard, along with a motorhome (large) in their driveway and 2 or 3 cars in the street. My parents were told to move their brand new camper out of their driveway......their driveway.....and they live on a dead end street.

The city is hurting so bad for money, how about they enforce some of the city codes??? We also have neighbors who don't mow or take care of their yards. They even have small children. I had to contact Westar last year b/c they had a vine that had overtaken their electrical line all the way up to the house. Westar wouldn't do anything......I was afraid it would catch on fire and then could spread to our house. So was I wrong to call the city? I don't think so. We had asked them to do something about it and they wouldn't, so should we of just waited until something bad, I don't think so. Just take care of your property!

engagedecoy 4 years ago

Some of us are busy working 2+ jobs to be able to live in the hell we call life.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years ago

I work and my husband works, we have children to take care of.....that doesn't stop us from taking care of our yard and home. Just b/c we don't have 2+ jobs doesn't mean we don't work more than 8 hours in a day or even work on the weekend. Is our house the most beautiful.....of course not. But we take care of what we have. All I'm asking is for people to pick up their yards. If you have a car/truck that has been sitting in your driveway for years........get rid of it. Ask for help......there are many organizations out there that offer their help throughout the year, and most are very happy to help. Why should my property values go down b/c some people don't take care of their homes/yards?

engagedecoy 4 years ago

Congrats, two people working 1 job a piece. You must feel like superman. I am talking 2+ jobs per person. Did you common sense and basic brain power go out the window like the rest of this country?

Sheila Hooper White 4 years ago

Nope don't feel like superman. I just don't understand why you wouldn't want to take care of what you have. It just ends up costing more money to repair/replace something if it ends up broken or ruined. Why are you attacking me? You have no idea what is going on in my life and have no right to judge. I'm not attacking anyone. Alot of people are struggling, doesn't give you the right to attack me. We ask for help if we need it. We have family and friends who would help in a second and we would do the same for them. I'm sorry you have such a hard life.

sunnmoon 4 years ago

Apparently your sense of kindness and basic decency went out the window with the rest of America as well. How many jobs you work has no bearing on how many jobs someone else works. Kuddos to you for being so motivated. If you have children you would know they are a full time job PLUS overtime. and it just seems to go on and on and on. Any parent in this country right now making a real effort to raise their children in a loving supportive environment, with all of the distractions of movies and TV and peers IS a SUPERMAN.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years ago

No it did not, thank you. I pay for my home and when I'm ready to sell would like to get the value it's worth. If my neighbors have broke down cars in their yard, trash, value goes down. How is that fair?? I promise you my husband and I work very hard and also are raising a family. I never once said anything bad about you, but you continue to berate me. I am SUPERWOMAN.......thank you very much. Obviously you are just a troll trying to make people angry and attack you. It doesn't work with me, lol. I been on these boards for a few years and have had many people make me angry b/c they say I'm wrong. Nice try, though. Don't work to hard:) I'll say a prayer for you and maybe God will open a door so you don't have to work all those jobs.

Sheila Hooper White 4 years ago

No it did not, thank you. I pay for my home and when I'm ready to sell would like to get the value it's worth. If my neighbors have broke down cars in their yard, trash, value goes down. How is that fair?? I promise you my husband and I work very hard and also are raising a family. I never once said anything bad about you, but you continue to berate me. I am SUPERWOMAN.......thank you very much. Obviously you are just a troll trying to make people angry and attack you. It doesn't work with me, lol. I been on these boards for a few years and have had many people make me angry b/c they say I'm wrong. Nice try, though. Don't work to hard:) I'll say a prayer for you and maybe God will open a door so you don't have to work all those jobs.

Mike Edson 4 years ago

There is a house on my street where someone has erected a four person tent in the front yard. It has been there for almost two months. Can't figure out if someone is living in it or not. I thought there was some sort of city ordinance that prohibited living in tents in your front yard.

engagedecoy 4 years ago

This is just one of the numerous wastes of state and city resources. It is there yard for crying out loud. If you don't like it, you can always move........ The freedoms of the US are ruined by whining cry babies like all these people crying about, oh my neighbor this and oh my neighbor that. Worry about yourself and your life, they can manage their own. We do not need the police and city government telling us what to do with our PERSONAL property, nor do we need them wasting money enforcing stupid rules like this. DID YOU KNOW? That just a little over 100 years ago, people faced harsh conditions, such as winter, and lived through them WITHOUT MODERN HEAT AND A/C This is just a waste of resources. Oh and for those who say it's a health hazard, guess what, Health care today is much much much much much better than 100 years ago. We as a human race are destroying this planet anyway. NO stopping the destruction we have been causing since the industrial revolution.

parrothead8 4 years ago

You don't seem to understand the word "community" very well.

boltzmann 4 years ago

It amazes me that some people equate the word "freedom" with being able to do whatever they darn well please irrespective of its effect on others.

Mike Edson 4 years ago

So......I gather you are the one living in the tent?

jj14 4 years ago

I know of this house..I drive by it daily. The other day the wind was blowing and the door of the tent blew open and I saw it was full of hay. ?? Strange.....

Christine Pennewell Davis 4 years ago

Now this person says trash from thankgiving what kind of trash? I mean my kinda trash from then would be smelling so bad I would move but does he mean left over decorations that have started to get tore up or what heck I still see christmas lights up which is ok saves trouble for next year but the writer is kinda vague about what kind of trash just wondering.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

autie, your mentioning pink flamingos reminded me of something. There was an older woman that had a plastic duck in her yard that she treasured. Exactly why her decorative plastic duck was of such sentimental value was unexplained. I think she lived somewhere in Canada, but I'm not sure.

She was very surprised to look in into her yard one day, and her plastic duck had been stolen! It was of very little value, why would anyone steal it?

There was nothing she could do about it, her plastic duck was gone. And there was no news of it until she learned of its whereabouts by mail.

An envelope with no return address, but postmarked London, UK showed up in her mailbox. And inside it was a picture of her plastic duck in front of Buckingham Palace!

Later, there was another envelope from Paris, France. And inside it was a picture of her plastic duck in front of the Eiffel Tower!

I don't remember where all her plastic duck went, but it was all over Europe. That was proven by the pictures of it that arrived from various locations, and not one had a return address.

Later, she noticed something in her yard. Her plastic duck was back home, in perfect condition, and happily resting after its grand trip to Europe.

When the article was written, she had no clue who had done it.

thewayitis 4 years ago

My neighbors did the same thing and I filed a complaint. They got a notice about 2 weeks later and I continued following up every other week for 4 months with no results. Fortunately the house was a rental, couldn't pay their rent and they got kicked out. Thanks Codes department.. FOR NOTHING. I hope you are more fortunate.

RoeDapple 4 years ago

That ain't junk! That be a corrosion test! A '67 Town Car, a '73 F-150 and a '92 Corolla. The Town Car and the F-150 don't got much paint left on 'em but the onliest thing left of the Corolla is the gears outa the transmission.

Pete_Schweti 4 years ago

This Sound Off column is becoming less of a public information tool and more of a sounding board for whiners.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

Oh, I thought you said 'winners' at first.

kernal 4 years ago

Is the person with the landfill yard physically able to clean it up, elderly, sick, disabled, a hoarder....

pace 4 years ago

One day a chicken showed up at my bird feeder. Within half an hour a police officer showed up who said a neighbor had reported it. I didn't own the chicken, the police officer (not animal control) insisted 5 times I did own the chicken and I could not have a chicken unless I had a chicken coop. He was very intense. I advised him the chicken probably had just flown the coop and probably would return to it. I did advise him if he wanted to catch the chicken, he should put out some of my bird seed, come up to it on it's side and try to snatch it by it's feet rather than lunge at it. He sneered. He approached the chicken head on and lunged at it. Last I saw was the police officer chasing the chicken, going south. The police did not come out when my neighbor reported a theft, they ignored a noise complaint, they ignored it when a neighbor called that a strange car was parked and left in their back yard. they assured us they would do nothing. It creeped me out that some neighbor is sitting around calling the police if they see a chicken in someone's yard. Don't just mind your own business, get up, help that policeman, chase that chicken with him. I watch too much tv and need live theater.

RoeDapple 4 years ago

So . . . That's why the chicken crossed the road?


Ron Holzwarth 4 years ago

If a policeman got all that excited about a chicken, it can mean only one thing.

He liked chicken.

He would have been there even faster if it had been a doughnut.

kseagle 4 years ago

Get a clue. Move out of east Lawrence.

irvan moore 4 years ago

it might be a good idea to just talk to the neighbor about it before involving the city, they might not realize it is offensive to others

Sunny Parker 4 years ago

Call the City Dev Services Dept. lmao Good luck!

Terry Sexton 4 years ago

Horse poop from a sandybottom? didn't really need that visual, but there it is.

Kat Christian 4 years ago

Like code enforcement will do anything about it. Har-har. My neighbor has built a playyard in her front yard of those plastic kid toys. She claims she runs a daycare yet I rarely see her out there with any kids and when she does bring them out its for 15 minutes. I've called several times complaining how junky this looks. The thing is she has a backyard, but she's too lazy to cut the grass or clean it up. So unless you call over and over again the City just might enforce their code. I just think they don't care about the East side of town. It is a shame people don't take more pride in their homes and keep them up and it doesn't cost a lot of money just to get off the lazy butt and actually do some upkeep on the yard or house.

ferrislives 4 years ago

Interesting...I know of a lady who does run a daycare on the East side, and she does have a fenced front yard with several toys for the kids she watches to play on. I wonder if she's the same person??? Has this lady had the kids out lately? No, because it's been too cold for them. She does bring them out to play in the afternoon after nap time, and when the weather is nice, they can be outside for 2 hours or so. Personally, people who try to bully others because they are not living in your perfect little world of perfectly-mowed lawns with PR yard art get on my nerves.

I know that she's a very sweet lady that hires neighborhood kids to help take care of her yard, and her back yard is much smaller than her front yard, so the kids would actually be much worst off. Let me ask, have you called the state to see if she runs a licensed daycare? I bet not, because she in fact does. That is why the city is ignoring your nosiness, so that they can focus on credible complaints.

I think that her neighbor needs to mind her own business, and get a life.

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

City Hall does not keep enough staff to support code enforcement. City Commissioners offer up all types of enforceable codes but never offer up money and staff for code enforcement.

Enforceable Codes without budgeting in Code Enforcement is defacto deregulation.

Site plan enforcement is non existent. So when the most important stakeholders in Lawrence,Kansas aka taxpayers think they have won a battle surrounding a site code violation don't bet on it. Words come easy as do drawings on paper but follow up and enforcement not so easy. Constant and persistent observation cannot take a break no matter what.

Think a new project is following the approved site code ....... don't bet on it. Stakeholders such as neighborhoods cannot take a break. Must always keep one eye open 24/7.

pace 4 years ago

You don't know who, or why, but that is enough for you. Get up off your chair, stand up. I have spent time to help elderly people, people with cancer, assaulted by storm or fire, people who for most of their life helped others, and I helped them deal with their yard, changing a tire, shoveling snow. My Dad grow up in Oklahoma, fatherless, his mother lame, in the depression, and he taught me not to make up judgements but to go to my neighbors and speak to them like a human being.
Anna Svetland, of Enid Oklahoma, a hundred years ago was a good neighbor, she taught him, he taught me. Too bad no one taught you.

pace 4 years ago

Reread it when you sober up.

cdecoito 4 years ago

What about houses like the one across from the police station that has sat abandoned with a yard FULL of trash, cars, and other junk for YEARS? There HAS to be an ordinance against this. There are several animals living in/amongst the mess. Its a hazard and a detriment to property values.

tomatogrower 4 years ago

Trash? From Thanksgiving? Maybe they are fans of Alice's Restaurant. Where's the blind judge?

honestone 4 years ago

...and the 8X10 color glossys...

seriouscat 4 years ago

My in-law in MO had a neighbor whose yard was a terrible mess, trash strew about. Lawns chairs and tarps and old furniture covered the entire front yard area of the property. Every time we drove by there she would comment about how 'trashy and lazy' they are. The mess sat there for over a year.

She later found out that one person in the house was disabled and had been caring for the other person who had cancer, and was now dead.

Is there a lesson in there? Maybe if there's some compassion in the person reading it.

Have a nice day everyone.

skootermonkey 4 years ago

Talk to your neighbor, see what's going on. It might be an easier climb to help them clean than to get the city to enforce. Besides, if you are a good neighbor and help out, the odds of them keeping you in mind when they start throwing the trash around increases.

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