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Restrictive Outdoor Furniture Proposal Will Not Be Presented On August 20th

5:41 PM, Jul 25, 2013   |    comments
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Eden, NC -- A proposal to ban indoor furniture on porches in Eden is now on hold and will be considered at a later date.

The director of the city's Planning and Inspection Department, Kelly Stultz, had originally planned to present an updated proposal to the city council on August 20th.

Stultz says after the proposal became public, a lot of residents had questions about how it would work. As a result, she decided to pull it to allow more time for planning. However, the idea is not off the table.

Some homeowners have been waiting for someone to address the issue for a long time, but there are just as many now concerned about the idea.

"I think it's very unfair," said Tracey Walker.

Walker would have to clear most of the furniture off her porch if an updated proposal is approved by the city council.

According to a draft, which requests a change to Chapter 6 of the city's nuisance code, it would be illegal to have upholstered or stuffed furniture, car seats and other items not designed for outdoor use on porches within the city limits.

"It has lots of health issues that can be attributed to it. They get wet and moldy. They can attract vermin. Those kinds of things," explained Stultz.

The proposal also lists mosquitoes, mildew and mice as potential problems.

"I don't really see anything wrong with what I've got there. I mean, it's my stuff and I'm not hurting anybody. It's not obstructing the highway, you know. It's my yard. Tell them to mind their own business," Walker said. "Why put your nose where it doesn't belong? You've got bigger things to worry about - like how to get kids off drugs or thefts or stuff like that."

Walker's mother, Teresa Brande, says she agrees with her daughter. She believes an ordinance banning outdoor furniture on porches would target the poor.

"If you have an old recliner or a little chair or something to sit on, on the porch, what's the harm of it?" she said.

Stultz maintains the proposal is not about being punitive, but rather to set a community standard.

WFMY News 2 spoke with homeowners who support the idea.
Some believe it would improve the aesthetic value of their neighborhoods.

However, there are still a lot of questions about how a change to the ordinance would work, how it would be enforced and how strict it would be. 

Stultz says the planning board and Community Appearance Commission are addressing those details.

Once they are done, she says, an updated proposal will be presented to the council for a vote.

Several cities across the state have bans similar to the proposal.
For example, in Greensboro, the issue is addressed on a case by case basis and enforced when the furniture is not in good condition.

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