Evansdale lawn ordinance brings hefty fine - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Evansdale lawn ordinance brings hefty fine

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An Evansdale man is fighting a hefty fine for parking a camper on his lawn. The ticket is tied to a new ordinance recently passed in the city which expands what can be considered a nuisance on someone's property. 

Storing trailers, wagons, and non-motor vehicles are now only acceptable when they are parked on a hard surface, like a driveway. Specifically, the ordinance requires residents in Evansdale to park trailers, wagons and non-motor vehicles only on a hard surface of asphalt, concrete, or at least three inches of gravel.

 Evansdale resident Steve Koleno has been parking his camper in his front yard for the past 15 years. Up until recently, he says he hasn't had a problem. Koleno says the city gave him his first notice three weeks ago. 

"It states that it must be parked on a hard surface," said Koleno. "It does not specify width, length, dimensions, of any type."  

For Koleno, patio pavers seemed like a reasonable option. However, after Koleno installed the patio pavers, he got a second notice, saying "Blocks under the tires is not acceptable, need to be a solid hard surface under your camper."

A week after the second notice, Koleno received a hefty ticket for $850, with the same message to "Park camper on hard surface, get rid weeds and grass on hard surface."

"I don't see what the big deal is with the way I did it," said Kolen. "It is parked on a hard surface. That is my complaint. They didn't tell anybody the changes whatsoever. They could have put a piece in the paper, they could have done something to tell the people the new ordinance was in effect."

Evansdale Mayor Doug Faas disputes Koleno's claim. 

"We have worked diligently to use the soft approach," said Mayor Faas. "Go down with a reminder, a door hanger or a visit. Saying this is our new ordinance. Here's what you have to do to get into compliance. That being said, the ultimate end of that is a citation if they choose not come into compliance."

Mayor Faas says the expanded ordinance is one of three aimed at cleaning up the look of the city. 

"I respect people's personal property, but I can understand the frustration of some citizens, they have a nice they maintain their yard nicely," said Mayor Faas. "The person next door, or two or three houses down quite frankly was parking numerous vehicles out front, parking them on the yard, killing the grass, and quite frankly junking up their lot. And quite frankly we had a number of citizens complaining about that."

The city says Koleno was aggressive when the code enforcement officer was issuing the ticket. Koleno plans on fighting the ticket. 

For more information, on recently passed ordinance's in Evansdale, visit the city's website

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