City of Lenexa responds to man with disability, fighting trash can citation

LENEXA, Kan. - The Lenexa man ticketed because of his trash bins heard back from the city.

James Dearth, born with Spina Bifida, earned the citations for his trash cans that sit in front of his garage because he can’t move them himself. The city issued Dearth a citation and bench warrant because of the bins.

On Thursday, he received this letter from the city’s Department of Community Development, stating communication issues on both sides and has “resulted in misunderstanding and confusion on both sides.”

However, Dearth didn't feel like it resolved anything.

“Basically the response that they gave me in this paper basically states what the ordinance states,” Dearth said.

The letter offered three options, but Dearth didn't think any seemed to make sense.

  1. Deffenbaugh offers two other smaller poly carts that could be substituted for your current poly cart if it would be easier for you to maneuver.
  2. You do not have to use any poly cart and may instead simply place your trash bags outside your garage on the day of weekly trash collection.
  3. If you had a pad installed on the side of your home (either poured concrete or brick pavers), Deffenbaugh has agreed to collect the poly carts from the pad on your trash pickup day and would return your carts to this location.

“That sounds like a really good idea for the neighborhood, just throw some trash bags out onto the driveway,” Dearth said.

The city cited communication problems, however, he feels like he's been crystal clear.

“I'm not sure how I've lacked to communicate but I've been to the city council, I've called all these people, I've called the codes enforcement officer every time I've gotten any type of mail from them,” he said.

To Dearth, the solution is simple.

“The ultimate goal here for me is to get something amended into the code. Until that happens we're going to have to keep on going,” he said.

The city said in a statement that they are willing to work with Dearth to find a solution but need to be in communication with him.

Dearth said he hopes to have an amendment added not only for him but for anyone with a disability. Until then, he plans to be back for his court date on April 14.

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