By Julie Caler, Code Enforcement Supervisor
Outdoor living areas have become increasingly popular, especially as do-it-yourself projects. Lots of people enjoy larger and more functional backyard patios that are out of public view.
But the latest trend is to turn front yards and carports into outdoor living rooms complete with big-screen TVs, sectional couches, and coffee tables.
We even see an occasional bed on a roof.
Unfortunately, that’s a violation of the city’s open storage ordinance:
“Storage of commodities and material for sale, lease, inventory or private use shall not be permitted in residential areas … such material shall be screened by a solid fence and shall not be visible from a public right-of-way. Commodities are defined as, but not limited to appliances, automotive parts, building materials, furniture.”
In other words, that new outdoor living room should be behind your house, screened or otherwise out of the public view.
Here are a couple of other examples of violations:
Meanwhile, lawn art like this little guy is acceptable because it’s not considered open storage.
Remember: if it’s meant to be used and enjoyed indoors, then it can’t be placed outside for everyone else to see — even if you do think it’s a cool idea to have an outdoor living room in your front yard.
Code Enforcement Supervisor Julie Caler has been with the City of College Station for 17 years.
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