Tired of watching more and more collection and donation boxes spring up around the village without rules, regulations or sometimes even permission, Palatine officials have opted to implement new restrictions.
The village council Monday approved an ordinance banning the boxes except on properties used for educational, institutional, religious or not-for-profit purposes.
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"There is a role for some of these donation boxes within our community," Village Manager Reid Ottesen. "We're trying to avoid them popping up in every parking lot, every outlot that we have throughout the village."
Palatine's action comes on the heels of an earlier decision by Schaumburg officials to ban the boxes with some minor exceptions. Elk Grove Village also approved regulations that limit the boxes' numbers, appearance, maintenance and placement.
In Palatine, officials said many donation boxes aren't directly associated with either the underlying business where they're located or its use. It's not uncommon, Ottesen said, for a property owner to not know where a box came from or who put it there.
To minimize the visual impact when viewed from the street, donation boxes won't be allowed in either the front or corner side yard of a property. Staff also recommends allowing not more than two boxes on a lot.
Ottesen said all donation boxes will be required to identify both the not-for-profit status of the entity and the operator's contact information in case of maintenance issues.
The placement of any donation box will require an administrative review to make sure it doesn't infringe on parking and adheres to other guidelines.
Councilman Greg Solberg said he initially was skeptical about the ordinance, but commended staff on striking a balance between curbing the number of boxes and generating revenue for certain institutions.
"I looked at this a while back and my first impression was certainly that they're getting out of hand and we should just straight out eliminate them," Solberg said.
Properties will have until the end of the year to get into compliance.