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City may trash trailers as storage facilities

Sept. 6, 2011

Greenfield - The use of trailers as a cheap alternative to the common storage shed may be on its way out.

A few people have bought or even built trailers that never go anywhere and instead are stuffed with all kinds of things for storage, said Jeff Cavett, fire marshal and code enforcer for the city. Storing stuff might not be so bad, but invariably, the trailers and the area around them deteriorate.

The result, Cavett said, is an eyesore.

Holes can eventually appear on the trailers, some of which are made out of corrugated sheet metal that makes them attractive in the first place, he said. Then weeds grow around the trailers, and stuff gets set down around them and on top of them.

And the trailers themselves often end up sitting on tires that are just left flat.

"It becomes a dilapidated thing in their driveway," Cavett said.

Not only that, some trailers are parked on grass, which is not even an approved surface, he said.

It has been frustrating for city officials.

"We want to keep a decent appearance in neighborhoods," he said.

So, as early as its Sept. 19 meeting, the Greenfield Legislative Committee could take up a proposal to change city ordinances to give the city more leverage in clearing yards and driveways of the storage trailers.

If approved, only a handful of residents would be affected, Cavett said.

"We're OK with working trailers and RVs," he said. "But if the trailer's just there for storage, (the owners) should build a shed. That's what we're getting at," Cavett said.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

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