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LITH considers changes to its collection bin rules

LAKE IN THE HILLS – Some entities that can have clothing collection bins in town could soon see changes.

The village in recent years has seen an increase in the number of donation collection bins being placed in the community, according to village documents. Under current rules, the bins have to be for not-for-profit entities. Presently there are about a dozen bins in town.

However, for-profit companies recently have been placing bins around the village and officials have asked them to be removed.

“Through our enforcement efforts and research, we have determined that some of the operators of the for-profit bins are the same as the not-for-profit ones, but just under a different name,” Community Development Director Dan Olson wrote in a village memo. “This has caused difficulties in enforcing our regulations.”

Village officials are considering changes for how the bins are regulated.

Staff has proposed allowing for-profit and nonprofit entities to have bins.

Bins would be allowed at any business and manufacturing district, at the airport, on open space, at institutional buildings or multifamily residential areas.

The bins would only be for collecting clothing, shoes, books, small household items or other salvageable personal property.

The village also proposed a $25-a-year licensing fee.

Under the proposal, bins cannot be on vacant properties, cannot be on required parking spaces and cannot be in a required front yard or within 10 feet of a lot line. Bins cannot obstruct motorists’ sights, cannot leave less than 5-feet in width for pedestrians and cannot contain advertising of other entities.

No more than three collection bins would be allowed on lots less than two acres in size.

No more than four bins would be allowed on lots greater than two acres.

Bins cannot exceed 7 feet in height and 25 square feet in area. They also have to be located on a paved surface.

The bins would need to have contact information on them.

“We tried to make them reasonable, nothing outlandish,” Olson said.

Olson said from a legal perspective, it is not advisable to only allow nonprofits to have collection bins in town.

Bins for both types of entities usually take up the same amount of space and usually look the same, Olson said.

Olson said there is a need for these bins for community service purposes.

Trustee Ray Bogdanowski agreed there is a need for the bins.

“I’m just wondering, if we’re saying remove the 501(c)(3), we’re saying, ‘If I could meet these guidelines, anyone can do this,’ “ Bogdanowski said.

According to a survey conducted by Village Building Commissioner Mike Magnussen, communities such as Crystal Lake, McHenry, Fox River Grove, Barrington and West Dundee do not allow donation collection bins.

Algonquin allows collection bins, but they would have to be inside or screened from public view at the rear of the building. However, there are no collection bins in Algonquin.

Carol Stream allows them in certain types of zoning districts.

Lincolnwood allows them, but has restrictions and a $100 license fee.

What’s next

The village’s Planning and Zoning Commission is scheduled to consider the ordinance change at its meeting on Aug. 12.

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