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Village wishes firm would pack up and move boxes

Containers violate placement rules

July 31, 2008

Hales Corners officials want what they consider to be an unattractive clothing collection box removed from a highly visible spot on Forest Home Avenue.

Despite the village’s efforts to have a trio of boxes removed, one red-and-white box — owned by U’SAgain, a for-profit company that specializes in the collection and sale of reusable clothes, shoes and household textiles — remains prominently placed in the parking lot of BP station, 9835 W. Forest Home Ave.

Boxes are an ‘eyesore’

George Kaiser, a member of the village’s Plan Commission, said village officials don’t like collection boxes placed where they can be easily spotted.

“We’ve talked about this for a long time,” he said. “They’re really an eyesore.”

Earlier this year, U’SAgain had three boxes placed at the different service stations without first obtaining required site plan amendment approval from the village’s Plan Commission.

Village officials told U’SAgain Area Manager Bjarne Aarup the boxes would have to be removed. Two were taken away — from Citgo and Marathon stations located along Highway 100.

Village Planner Dyann Benson said U’SAgain officials were invited to reapply for placement of the three boxes at different locations throughout the village, but no one from the firm has yet responded to that offer.

A U’SAgain employee in Illinois said Aarup was in Europe and unavailable for comment. The owner of the BP station — the Rana Oil Co. — also was unavailable for comment.

Not in compliance with code

From the village’s legal perspective, the spot at the BP station is unacceptable because it does not comply with village code that states accessory structures cannot locate within a property’s front-yard setback, Benson said.

“That conflicts with what our practice has been with those types of structures,” Benson said, noting that whoever made the decision to place the collection box at that spot apparently didn’t want it inside a building.

Benson has sent a letter to a U’SAgain representative notifying him about the code violation and asking the firm to remove it from the site, but she has not received a response.

If the box isn’t removed from the BP site, a weekly fine of up to $298 can be imposed on the property owner. The fine can be upped to a daily $298 rate if the weekly fine isn’t paid, she said.

The village has not yet started imposing the fine.

John Neville can be reached at (262) 446-6609.

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