One Man's Garbage Is Not Another Man's Treasure

Dispute between Grosse Pointe Park neighbors convinces city council to change ordinance that guides where garbage be placed


One Grosse Pointe Park man's not-so-neighborly handling of his garbage has the city council rewriting an ordinance that spells out the rightful placement of refuse on trash pick-up days.

The council's Monday night decision to amend the ordinance and require that garbage must be placed in front of one's home comes in response to a dispute between next door neighbors on Barrington.

The neighbors have had an ongoing dispute over one man's decision to put his garbage out in front of his neighbor's home rather than his own.

Technically, the man is placing a portion of his garbage within his property line, which runs on the other side of his driveway closer to his neighbor's home. But the garbage also goes beyond the his property line and onto his neighbor's property.

As the current ordinance reads, the only requirement for garbage collection is placement at the curb, City Attorney Dennis Levasseur said Monday.

Council members and City Manager Dale Krajniak clearly thought the man's handling of his trash was garbage and they wanted to help out a resident who is asking that only his own trash be left his front of his home.

"That's just common sense," Councilman Daniel Clark said.

Krajniak asked, jokingly, whether the man who came to the council asking for help "had ever put your refuse on his side?"

"I've thought about it," the man said.

Levasseur said he will come up with wording for the ordinance that specifies that refuse must be placed not only at the curb but in front of one's own home. He will bring it back to council for a vote to make it official.

Mayor Palmer Heenan thanked the man for letting the council know about the situation.

"We can't fix it if you don't bring it  up," he said. "So thank you for bringing it up."

Chris K October 23, 2012 at 12:09 PM
Kim: Is this ALL that happened at the council meeting Was there any discussion about community concern on how the public safety department is addressing crime in the city and apprehended suspects? I mean really.. we have a lot more to worry about that whose garbage is on whose tree lawn!
Kim North Shine October 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Chris, yes, not much happened at the meeting which literally lasted five minutes until two residents addressed the council about their concerns, one being one of the men in this story, the other a man asking when street lights would be working again. A story is coming on DTE's repair of lights in the Park. The council's agenda was three items long: the purchase of a DPW vehicle, appointments to the beautification commission and routine approval of invoices. As for your concerns about public safety being discussed please know two things: Patch is running a separate story about the capture of the 16-year-old who escaped custody last week. This is not a council matter per se and no council members or audience members brought it up. If you want the council to discuss this situation or crime in general in the city, you could address it at the meeting. As for there being more important concerns than where garbage goes, this is a quality of life issue for at least one resident and it's a slice of life so we wrote about it. Thank you for reading Patch.


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