So, when one of the hard working volunteers showed up at the Deerfield Beach Commission and asked permission to place bins for clothing donations I was all for it. I was shocked to hear the commission turn them down citing a regulation against outdoor storage.
Look around the city, not only will you find clothing donation bins but many other instances of outside storage. Restaurants are allowed to have outside seating but the regulations do not say they can have outside storage, in fact it is NOT allowed, but many have carts and bins for storing service items, I believe some have fully stocked bars. What is a dumpster if not an outside storage container? How about vending machines, they certainly qualify as storage.
Once again we have Deerfield Beach using selective enforcement. I hear that the owners of the clothing storage bins that are in violation can’t be contacted to remove them. Well, DUH! Gather them up for scrap if they are such egregious violations. Want to know where they are? Ask the Salvation Army guy, he had pictures of them.
What’s the excuse for not allowing the bins? They might overflow and be unsightly. Really? Well that would be the time to sanction them, not before it happens. I think regulations similar to those about garbage cans and dumpsters should do it.
Guess what I found while reading our codes; outside storage is allowed as a conditional use in some of our districts, nobody bothered to tell the Salvation Army man about that.
I think an ordinance allowing a legitimate charity to have donation bins on public property and, with permission, on private property should be enacted. Have a heart, these are very hard times and charities are suffering from reduced donations. Charity starts at home, let’s give it a home in Deerfield Beach.