Tuesday, July 18, 2006

City Council - Please Save My Marriage!

My lovely wife Joanne is beautiful and perfect in every way ... except for one tiny flaw. She is a pack rat that keeps just about everything.

Just last week she exclaimed, "Fondue is coming back in style and then who'll be happy that we have the complete, 16 pot, all electric, avocado colored, deluxe dipping set with 4o matching forks?

Simple physics was the only thing that kept me from going crazy from her collection obsession and leaving her. Once she filled up our house, the only way for her to add to her collection was by throwing something else out. We reached an ecological balance of sorts. But now those large temporary storage containers called PODS may signal the end of our marriage.

You see, Laurel City does not have an ordinance prohibiting or controlling these big white home wreckers. See Dan Schwind's story in the Leader.

Our crazy neighbors had a POD in their front yard for over six months last year. Joanne figures that she can legally fill our yard with dozens of the big white PODS and then she'll have almost unlimited space to store more stuff. She will never need to throw anything away ever again.

If the City Council doesn't pass a law to stop her, it will mean the end of our marriage. I can't take it any more and I'm betting the divorce court will agree with me.

A simple solution is available. Pass an ordinance that requires city residents to get a $5.00 permit to put a POD on their property --for no more than 30 days. This seems reasonable to me. Thirty days is plenty of time to accomplish a move or rehab a garage. Lots of cities across the USA are taking just this reasonable step to preserve family values.

City Council Members, Joanne and I have been married for 23 years. I'm putting the future of our marriage squarely in your hands.

Please regulate the PODS and save our marriage.


Anonymous said...

Rick: Rest assured,we all want your marriage to continue. I certainly agree with the need to do something to prevent POD proliferation. A month sadly, is not enough time for any rehab in living memory. However, there are other options for that short term storage -- including move the POD to storage. Perhaps a 30 day for $5 permit, with a possible 30 day extra extension, for an additional much higher fee, say $50/$100 -- after which it must be removed, again with high $$ fines if not. (that hopefully will be enforced.)
Let's all work to save Rick's marriage!
Karen L.

Anonymous said...


We are working on the problem even as I am writing this. Rest assure the Council will do what it can do save your marriage as well as mind. I too am a pack rat.

Jan Robison

Anonymous said...

Hmm. I have mixed feelings. Neighborhood rules about what you can put on your own property always bug me. Your idea is reasomable, but I've lived on the same block with busy-bodies who, given the power, would have required everyone to hire Martha Stewart's gardener and have their home professionally painted once a year. So while I agree there have to be some standards, I'm generally inclined against efforts to tell other people what they can and can't put on their property.

Greg Krehbiel

mike sarich said...

PODS without end are a potential problem; however, making residents pay a fee to move out or requiring businesses under emergency situations to obtain a permit seems to be a bit too much for this Councilman.

I think the temporary compromise that we’re working towards is requiring a person to obtain a permit with 7 days of obtaining a POD and prohibiting advertisements on them. Therefore if you were a soldier moving your family on the “DIY” plan you could still use PODS without fees and if your business is flooding you can take care of the problem without waiting for city hall to open.

In the future, when our web applications are up and running, I believe we can make the POD Permit a kind of “auto-approve” for a certain period of time. When this technology is in place, we can require all PODS (regardless of time in place) to have permits. Of course, permits for less than 7 days should be free. (The cost to the City for an online permit is next to nothing).

Can we list “Saved Rick Wilson’s Marriage” as an accomplishment on our resumes if we can get reasonable legislation passed? It would have to rank on one of this Council’s greatest accomplishments!

Rick Wilson said...

Jan, I appreciate your leadership on this issue.

Greg, Believe me I understand but we lived with a POD in the front yard of house on our block for 6 months. It really was an eyesore. This is why we have property codes. To protect the majority from the clueless.

Karen, A POD in the backyard along side a construction project is fine. I'm not asking for the gulag, just a reasonable accommodation for the rest of the neighborhood.

Mike, I don't care about commercial zones, only residential. There should be some maximum time limit. Maybe 30 days with two additional 30 days permits in a calendar year. As far as the fee, make it zero. I also don't care if people have 10 days to apply for the permit. I can't wait for the e-permiting process.

Anonymous said...

I think renewals are a must, from the remodeling nightmares I've seen friends go through, 90 days can be optimistic! But clearly, they have permits for the work, so storage can go along with that. Clearing out a house after a death can also take time when family must travel, prepare a home for sale, etc.

It needs to be done carefully so it's reasonable and not burdensome.

Someone's storage container bothers me much less than the condition of many of our sidewalks, encroached by bushes and trees in many many places and made nearly impassable, especially by wheelchairs and strollers! I shouldn't have to duck or walk out into the street just to walk around the block.

Mike Sarich said...

You can rest easy, the Ord. was introduced and thanks to some great leg work by Mike Lesczc and Jan they're working on having the PODS company bill & facilitate the homeowner getting a permit for thier POD. (Thus hopefully taking care of the compliance issue).

A new wrinkle to the ord. is the Mayors ability to grant people a year (at his discretion but for emergencies) to have thier PODS in their yards. Other than that, I think your marriage is safe, now when is that fondue party?