Evanston aldermen Monday are scheduled to consider a proposed ordinance that, as currently written, appears to require homeowners to remove leaves from the street in front of their homes.

The ordinance would amend an existing code provision dealing with refuse to make it apply to yard waste as well.

It also add new penalty provisions of up to $200 a day for violations.

In addition to barring people from throwing yard waste into the street, the ordinance would make it an offense to permit yard waste “to accumulate or remain in any street, alley or other public place.”

The proposed ordinance comes in the wake of the city’s adoption of a new yard-waste sticker program last year that has fallen several hundred thousand dollars short of generating the revenue city officials had anticipated.

In a memo proposing the ordinance, Public Works Director Suzette Robinson said most residents are following the new yard waste rules, but there’s been “an increasing problem” of residents or contractors blowing or raking leaves into the streets.

Related documents

Proposed ordinance 8-O-11

Existing city code section 8-5-3(D)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Treacherous, unshoveled sidewalks: No problem, no enforcement

    Leaves in the street: Could be a $200/day fine. 

    Further, given the city's refusal/inability to enforce parking regulations on street cleaning days, the streets adjacent to my house (I live on a corner lot) were cleaned a grad total of once all last year.  So yes, a substantial amount of yard waste was allowed "to accumulate or remain in any street, alley or other public place." According to this law, because of the city's ineptitude I could now potentially face a hefty fine.  Priceless.

    If Ms. Robinson is suggesting that the city's shortfall of several hundred thousand dollars was due to residents filling the streets with yard waste, I think she needs to reevaluate the situation

  2. I am behind the City Council 100% on this one

    The rich people with their giant mansions should bear some responsibility for keeping the streets clean, I would draw a line extending from the edges of the property line out to the middle of the street and start fining these folks for all the fast food wrappers, too. And make it kind of like the sidewalk, so the property owners have to fix cracks. One time, I was rollerblading and I hit a big crack in the street and fell, the rich people should fix those so those of us who want to use the streets can do so without risk of injury.

  3. But they do rake into the street

    What you say may be true, but I see a lot of houses rake their leaves into the street.  Whether they have not lived here long enough to know the law, or  never knew the law changed [10+ ? years ago] or see Wilmette people putting leaves in the street [i assume still legal there?] or as is most likely—just don't care.

    1. Wilmette leaves in street legal.

      All north and west suburbs sweep leaves. Evanston is the only one that does not street sweep leaves.

  4. Leaf ordinance is absurd

    This ordinance is absurd (as is the yard waste sticker ordinance that probably has more leaves going into the street as an unintended consequence).  It cannot be effectively enforced or will be discriminantly enforced more toward those who cannot afford the yard waste sticker in the first place.

    Save the expense of enforcement of this not too well thought through ordinance and spend that money on more pressing needs.

    The City is getting too dependent on fines for revenue. 

  5. Compost restriction is next

    This is crazy since there is a draft ordinance floating around that will restrict  homeowners' ability to compost yard waste!

    The objective appears to require residents to clean up leaf debris and fill up the bags that the city takes away for a fee!

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