County Adopts Rubbish and Junk Regulations



The Prowers County Commissioners and Planning Commission have been working for some time to create an ordinance regulating rubbish and junk accumulations throughout the county.  The commissioners approved the final draft on July 5th.  The regulations were established to compel the removal of rubbish or junk within the unincorporated areas of Prowers County, specifically to help eliminate the accumulation of rubbish and preserve the public health and safety of county residents.  The Ordinance, No. 2022-1 applies to the owner of a property on which a violation occurs, even if committed by a tenant or other occupant.

A problem with junked vehicles abandoned on private lands and sometimes just left on public lands began several years ago and the county, concerned that the practice could spread, continued a discussion with the Planning Commission to address the issue.

A junked vehicle is defined in the ordinance as any motor vehicle which because of a legal or mechanical condition or defect cannot be operated on a public street or highway.

Rubbish is defined as worn out or discarded articles or materials such as bottles, glass, cans, scrap metal, used/worn vehicle parts, rubber, disposable packages or containers, paper, cardboard, furniture, carpet, construction debris, appliances disposed of on the ground and not stored in a completely enclosed building or screened.

Several exemptions to the ordinance apply and does not act on industrial tracts of 10 or more acres or to agricultural land; automobile service and body work shops that have designated screened areas for junk vehicles, mobile homes and recreational vehicles; salvage junkyards, junk vehicles, mobile homes and rec vehicles maintained in the course of a commercial enterprise which have screening.  Existing salvage junkyards defined as a commercial enterprise will be grandfathered for five years.  All existing salvage junkyards must come into compliance with the screening requirements within five years after the ordinance’s adoption.

Complaints about a violation may be filed using a form provided by the Prowers County Land Use Administrator and signed by the complainant.  The complaint will be investigated to see if an unlawful condition exists and if so, a Notice and Order will be issued, requiring the owner to remove the rubbish or junk within 21 days or enter into an agreement to fix the problem or request to appear before the Prowers County Commissioners within 21 days to show cause why the Order should not be enforced.  The Land Use office is located in the Prowers County Annex off East Cedar Street.
By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: AgricultureConsumer IssuesCountyEnvironmentFeaturedHealthPublic Safety


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