As of last week, Great Bend City Sanitarian Gregg Vannoster’s department had received 397 complaints of trashy properties so far this year. Some come from residents, but most come from his staff as it combs the streets.
It’s all part of a heightened effort to clean up the community, Vannoster said. The pictures of properties being abated are shown at City Council meetings and posted in the city’s public access television channel to call more attention to the matter.
But, the real goal is not to issue more citations and abate more properties.
“What we really want to do is educate people,” he said. City officials want residents to know and understand the ordinances so they can follow them and prevent their yards from catching the sanitarian’s eye in the first place.
So, he has compiled a reference guide outlining the sanitation regulations. “This is being done in an effort to inform the citizens of Great Bend on what is and what isn’t a violation,” he said.
The one-page summary, available in both English and Spanish, touches on statue highlights that have drawn the most complaints in the past. He wants to fill in the gaps where there is a lack of information and make clarifications where there is misinformation.
For now, the flyers will be available at the city’s Front Door facility, 1615 10th St., and City Hall, 1209 Williams. In addition, the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce will include it in their “welcome to Great Bend” packets and rental property managers will keep copies.
For more information, contact Vannoster’s office at 525 Morton Street, or call 620-793-4150.
Below is the guide in its entirety:
Following is a Quick Reference Guide to some of the more common violations of City Ordinances and items that constitute a violation. This is a guide; not the complete list of Ordinances; which is available at Municode.com
Accumulation of trash
• Items included are tires, vehicle parts and accessories, appliances, lumber, household furnishing and furniture
Examples: refrigerators, wash machines, dryers, stuffed chairs & sofas even if they are on the porch, bags of aluminum cans,
• Covering the items with a tarp or having them behind a fence does not correct the violation
• Loose trash that has blown into your yard or along the curb or in your half of the alley easement is your
responsibility to pick up
Trash containers: Residential
• All trash must be stored in an air & water tight container with a lid. Placing trash bags on the ground is a violation.
• Trash must be removed from the property at least once a week even if hauled away by the resident.
• Trash containers can only be placed by the street curb the day of pick-up. Otherwise it must be stored away from the front yard.
Motor vehicle nuisance
• All vehicles must display a current registration plate if on the property.
Exceptions: 1. Vehicles stored within an enclosed structure (must have three walls). Carports and lean-to sheds do not qualify as an enclosed structure. Placing a car cover/tarp over the vehicle is not a solution. 2. The vehicle may be enclosed by a fence of adequate size and density (six-foot-tall, privacy-style fence). (Make sure to obtain a building permit before construction.)
• Animal waste must be removed from the property once a week.
– Dumping cat litter in the alley is also a violation.
• Vegetation over 12 inches tall is a violation.
Exceptions: ornamental grasses, flowers, shrubbery and trees
• Residents are responsible to mow from the center of the alley easement to the street
– Yard Waste (grass clippings, limbs) may not be accumulated on the property
– To establish a clear visual sight triangle, trees must be back 90 feet from center of an intersection and shrubbery must be trimmed to a maximum height of three feet
• Shrubbery needs to be trimmed back so as not to extend out over the sidewalk or street