If you read the latest comment on the Twitterpated Tuesdays – Accessorizing in the Branch post, you will see that the young woman who was cited for her canvas gazebo was given a stay of execution. To jog your memory, she put up the following structure in her back yard in order to afford some relief from the elements while she was relaxing in her hammock. In her back yard. Away from public scrutiny.

No, that’s not her back yard, but that doesn’t make the gazebo any less nice. Maybe The City will build a nice park like that behind her home. That would be neat and awesome, and would help us support our “brand”. No – not the brand about being racist and ignorant. I’m talking about the one we are spending hundreds of thousand of dollars (per park) on:  “The City in the Park” brand that we changed our logo for and all that.

Anyway, Community Surveillance spotted this accessory structure, determined it was detrimental to society’s Health, Safety, and Welfare, and notified her that  canvas-topped structures are NOT ALLOWED in The City in the Park. She took this matter to the next City Council meeting and the council members asked Jim Olk to explain the violation to her.

His explanation contained three elements:

  1. Canvas topped structures deteriorate, and hers will too some day, and Code Enforcement just couldn’t be babysitting her yard so that they could cite her as soon as it did. Also, if she had one everyone would want one and then Code Enforcement would have to watch them all and …… Whew! ……. that’s a lot of work for just 4 people.
  2. Her gazebo is an accessory building, and we all know that if you construct an accessory building in The City in the Park it has to be “architecturally compatible” with the house. In other words, if her house was 75% brick, and the rest was painted orange, the gazebo must follow suit. For that is pretty, and nothing else will do.
  3. It was “probably” a 12×12 ft. square building, and that would make it over the 120 square feet size allowed for accessory buildings.


Well, as a result of her inquiry, Code Enforcement, in a rare display of Community Service, went out and measured her gazebo. They found it to be a 10×10 structure, which turns out to be 100 square feet, so she was, in fact, under the maximum limit for reason #3. So she was told that she would, in fact, be allowed to keep her gazebo: canvas top and all.

Now, I’m happy for her, and I sure don’t want to mess up her situation, but …………

I’m going to assume her home is not made of canvas and metal, so what about the precious “architectural compatibility”? Don’t get me wrong – I think that’s an incredibly moronic ordinance, but it is the ordinance.

Does canvas not deteriorate if it is under a certain size? If so, they need to quit citing people for having canvas-upholstered outdoor furniture, because I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that no one has a chair that is larger than 100 square feet in area.

And that is the point of my frequent posts lambasting The Code, and our ridiculous, oppressive, attention-to-detail Code Enforcement blitz.

Note to Anonymous: Please proofread: I am not an English major, so there may be some errors in sentence construction. But that doesn’t change the facts. Thanks