• #2
    America, the land of the ZONED free, the home of the ORDINANCE'D brave......
    The very reason I live out in the country, well away from the misguided many.
    Poor kid.....stifled by buffoons.
  • #30
    While everyone else is getting pissed and calling names, the city of Leawood is handling the situation with calm and decorum and trying to resolve the issue.

    Quoted from the Prairie Village Post 5 days ago:

    "Leawood Ward 1 Councilor Andrew Osman expressed sympathy with the family, and said he thinks the city will be able to resolve the issue in a way that ultimately allows Little Free Libraries in the community. He sent us the following statement on the issue Thursday evening.

    I appreciate the opportunity to comment on the Little Free Library situation that arose last week between the City of Leawood and Mr. Collins. I have two young children myself and think the concept of bringing books and literacy to our neighborhoods is a fantastic idea.

    Unfortunately Mr. Collins’ Little Free Library was the first to come to the City’s attention; furthermore, there may have been a misunderstanding of the purpose and intent of the Little Free Libraries that have appeared in recent months within the Kansas City community. It also seems that the City staff did not fully comprehend citizens’ requests to participate in this new effort to unite community and literacy.

    Leawood prides itself on its neighborhoods and making sure the City Code makes the most sense for its residents and continuing to practice responsible development that encourages community progress. While I do not believe that the Little Free Library is a violation of the City Code, I understand that this new trend in Johnson County has caught the City Administration off-guard. I am certain that we can resolve the situation in a way that results in a mutually agreeable format to bring these Libraries to our citizens. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THERE IS A NEED TO ENSURE THAT THE STRUCTURES ARE INSTALLED IN A MANNER THAT RESPECTS OTHERS' PROPERTY AND CANNOT CAUSE HARM IF IMPROPERLY MAINTAINED.(Key reasoning...My Emphasis.)

    Our next City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday July 7th at 7:30 p.m. I welcome interested citizens to join us and share during the public comment portion of the meeting their ideas for bringing Little Free Libraries to Leawood and making sure that we come up with a solution that works for everyone."

    This has been an interesting story here in Kansas for about a week. In Topeka, where I live, there are about a dozen "Little Free Libraries" that have popped up by people of good will. I support this idea. I think it's wonderful.

    However, there does come the issue of encroachment onto the public easement, parking, traffic interruption, children trying to access the structure and toppling it over, etc.

    No one in any municipality is allowed to put up any unsafe structure and just walk away.

    In this particular case, from purely a safety standpoint, we have this well meaning family doing a good thing but perhaps not thinking it out thoroughly as far as safety goes.

    The picture shown indicates it is mounted on four legs and appears to stand about 4 1/2 - 5 feet tall. All the weight is at the top.
    Better picture of the boy and his library.

    Tell me...if your little child wants to get a book out and pulls the unit over and gets a cut or broken bone...who will be liable?

    The homeowner that built it?
    The young man with the great idea?
    The city for allowing it to remain in that location?

    Or should they be made safe, cemented into the ground on a sturdy base and located so as not to encroach on the city easement, over water/sewer/power/cable/phone lines and not blocking the line of sight for traffic.

    This is yet another issue that on the outset causes a public furor but actually has some logic to it.
  • #63
    Thank you, nanny, for protecting us from EVERY DAMN THING, whether we want it or not. These hypothetical worstcase arguments are ALWAYS used to justify limiting our freedoms. "Let us protect you...WE know what is best for you!" Let people watch out for their OWN kids. Personally I would let my kid visit the little library.
  • #69
    @AntiPorcheria Zoning laws aren't just for the city to make money. In reality, someone has to be hired to investigate and regulate zoning in the city which costs money. If you start to allow something small here because the community thinks it's a cute idea you'll soon have others wanting to do the same. When you say no, boom, lawsuit. At the same time, will these citizens continue to back up this kid if the small library starts becoming larger and larger resulting in more people showing up.

    What will the neighbors do then when people start parking all over the place, on their property, and start littering? Will this boy's family take care of that? This is why places are zoned for certain things, to prevent this from happening. It's not for the city to enlarge their budget.
  • #4
    "The city prohibits people from having structures on their property that are detached from the physical house."

    So no one in that whole town is allowed to have a dog house? Or a mailbox that's not attached to the house? Or a swing set, pool, jungle gym, gazebo, lawn furniture with an umbrella attached? How about a shed or storage building?

    Something seems a little off and illegal about that, or they are not telling the whole story.
  • #7
    Here is the problem, if the city, if the government can't find a way to get money off it, then it is illegal to them.....
  • #47
    @eyesonu There seems to be no money involved. I am willing to bet that neighbors complained of the eyesore. I know rural neighborhood politics and someone who is fake friendly to this family was the one that called.
  • #62
    @Center - I think Knightkore's contention was that 'lots' of cities want the permit money, and they're not all that concerned about the 'aesthetics' that permits are supposed to protect.

    I travel a lot in the rural Midwest, and I always get a kick out of the three million dollar mansion out in the country, surrounded by mobile homes. Zoning regulations? What are those? lol.

    You're probably correct. Could be a neighbor with an agenda or grudge. But... Back in the day...(And for me that's pretty far back) when the police would catch a kid doing something wrong, they took the kid home, and 'assisted' the parents in laying down the law. Or, when there was a dispute among neighbors, they were pretty good at resolving that as well. In fact, my wife had trouble with her daughter a few years ago, and called the police. When she told her that she ought to 'beat her butt' her daughter said she'd "turn her in for child abuse". I about peed my pants laughing, when the police officer agreed that that was probably 'exactly what she needed, and if Mom wanted to do so, he was fine with it'. lol. Poor kid. Her 'I've got rights, and you aren't telling me what to do attitude', went right out the window. A simple 'discussion' with an astute officer, and the 'problem' was resolved.

    Had I been the Police Chief, and someone called about a kid's front yard 'library', my reply would have been something like, "Are you serious? Don't you have bigger things to worry about?"
  • #49
    Another example of why a zero tolerance mentality instead of using common sense is a form of mental retardation.
  • #16
    The family should demand that the City provide a codified definition of "detached structure" and proof that other residents are equally being given citations for lawn furniture. An outdoor bookcase may be an uncommon piece of lawn furniture, but that doesn't mean it qualifies as a detached structure.
  • #29
    Screw the city. Put a flag on it and call it a mailbox. Lots of places have mailboxes with a compartment below for your newspaper. Do the same thing with the 'library'.
  • #43
    @viniketa - You're probably correct (Please forgive me. I would have said 'right' but I've stopped using 'right' in my vocabulary) It's Kansas, so nothing would surprise me.

    Here's a thought. Put windmill blades on it, and say it's part of a wind farm. Not only will that violate the city ordinance, but it should piss off the Koch brothers to know that a nine year old has the nerve to take them on.

    Heck, maybe Obama can get the EPA to give him a special alternative energy permit. <wink> Disclaimer: This is sarcasm -(The righties have told me that I must label my sarcasm in a manner which they can easily identify)
  • #66
    @viniketa Mail Boxes must be approved and installed in a manner required by the USPS Postal Code, which supersedes any local regulations. Although the USPS does not exactly make you change it if it is in the shape of a Fire Engine, Alligator, or Dollhouse.
  • #82
    @Adolf Exactly my point. The USPS tells you where to put your mailbox and gives you the specs to meet. In some areas, curbside boxes on poles are forbidden and the box must be attached to the house.
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  • #3
    what's next?...arresting children for having lemonade stands....this is just stupid...let kids be kids...they have plenty of time to figure out...that adults are crazy
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  • #9

    The stand had been operating just one day when the city's police chief and a deputy drove by and spotted it. Police Chief Kelly Morningstar said it was simply a matter of enforcing the law.

    "We were not aware of how the lemonade was made, who made the lemonade, of what the lemonade was made with, so we acted accordingly by city ordinance," Morningstar said. "We had told them, we understand you guys are young, but still, you're breaking the law, and we can't let you do it anymore. The law is the law, and we have to be consistent with how we enforce the laws," Morningstar said.

    The news generated a number of responses on the website, most of them hostile to the police action.
  • #10
    Sure ...why not. We're already suspending second graders for eating their pop tarts into the shape of a gun and arresting middle school kids for wearing NRA t-shirts to school. Yeah...I know...thats loving and caring government over reach...not this type.
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  • #13
    Power grabbing local governments strike again, just like with the lemonade stands. You already pay rent (property tax) to the government to live on your property, now you need to meet ridiculous restrictions on your property. I wouldn't expect such nonsense in the American heartland.
  • #15
    This is why I like a libertarian he's right.....government needs to mind their own business.....government could stand to shrink at least by 70 percent of current existence.....
  • #50
    I agree as far as this kids library and the little girls lemonade stand but if you had an eatery of some sort and you paid your license , had health dept inspections , etc and I opened up an unlicensed BBQ chicken , sausage , sandwich stand next door to you than you would have a problem .

    I see the above CONSTANTLY in Miami .

    This is why you do need government regulations . The dilemma is when do you draw the line .
  • #6
    Damn it and coitusing dimwitted, unimaginative blowhards.....government can figure out how to tax us all to death and regulate us through the EPA bypassing the Constitution but they can't figure out how to stop diddling with actual freedom and especially a nine year olds free library? I mean another child MIGHT actually learn how to opposed to the coitus-ups in schools today who have made are children so dumb that they can't even read an Archie comic.....

    If it were me, I'd say, fine.....go ahead fine me.....Constitutionally your idiots.....
  • #37
    It doesn't appear to be harmful to anyone and is definitely not an eyesore! I thought it was cute and in good taste. What a bunch of morons!
  • #45
    This is where he can get creative and make life for a few of the city leaders uncomfortable. Some places just make no sense at all. Common sense, a waiver, something.
  • #24
    You go kiddo!!! How many people in Leawood have a garden shed or free standing garage on their property? Plenty, I'd wager.
  • #74
    This is not really a structure like the structure the ordinance was written for. This is just a stupid bureaucratic thing. Stop harassing the kid. Real solution would be to elect democrats for a sensible government.
  • #46
    Codes serve a purpose and are necessary for a civil society. Rational application of those codes is necessary for a society to be civil.
  • #77
    @PayThatCEO It was code to not let black people, Native Americans and women vote for a while. It sure kept society "civil" right?
  • #97
    And that has what to say about this story? Because it is codified it is correct? And then you address "rational application." All codes= society being civil? No end in sight. Codes do not a civil person make.
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