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Oswego Considering Regulating Donation Drop Boxes

Aug 06, 2015 12:07PM ● Published by Steven Jack

The appearance of this large storage container/donation box in the Petsmart parking lot along Route 34 has prompted the village of Oswego to consider regulating the placement of such boxes around town.

The village of Oswego is set to begin an effort to regulate the placement of large donation boxes that pop up around town. 

The recent appearance of a large storage container/drop box in the Prairie Market shopping center along Route 34 has prompted the village to again tackle the issue, which was first brought to the Village Board in 2012. 

No action was taken back then, but the village’s building and zoning department, after surveying nearby communities, recently proposed several regulations, including size, location and requiring a permit to locate in Oswego.

“Something that’s come up with the most recent one is commercial clutter,” said interim village administrator Carrie Hansen “We want to make sure our commercial corridors are presenting themselves in the way that we want them to.  … In most instances they are fine, but in some instances the property owner doesn’t even know that they’re being put there, which is a huge problem.”

With the new regulations, the size of donation boxes would be limited to 7 feet in height and no bigger than 25 total square feet. Boxes would only be allowed on commercially zoned lots 6 acres or larger or at schools and churches. The boxes also would not be allowed to be placed in parking spaces or in areas that block the line of view for drivers.

A new permitting process would allow the village to better track the placement of the boxes and allow for tickets, fines or removal if the units become damaged or overflowing. A permit fee has yet to be determined, but Building and Manager Jay Hoover said it would be minimal and could even be waived for nonprofit organizations.

Currently there are 25 donation drop boxes located throughout the village. Of those 25, Hoover said five would not be allowed under the proposed regulations. 

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