Lakemoor woman continues potty planter fight

KRV Legal

February 3, 2010

WOODSTOCK – A Lakemoor woman ticketed for using two toilets and a sink as flower planters is maintaining her challenge to the village ordinance after a judge upheld its constitutionality Wednesday.

An attorney for Tina Asmus, who was fined $25 in June, said he plans to review how Lakemoor has been enforcing its public nuisance ordinance prohibiting implements, equipment and “personal property of any kind which is no longer safely usable for the purpose for which it was manufactured.”

McHenry County Judge Michael Caldwell rejected Asmus’ arguments that the ordinance was too broad, so the case will next look at whether it is being applied selectively.

In the court filing, Asmus’ attorney, George Kililis, said other village property owners displayed water-well pumps, tire swings, parking meters, whiskey barrels and rug beaters, among other implements, on their property. There also is a full-size Caterpillar tractor in front of the International Union of Operating Engineers’ hall, Kililis said.

Village attorney Lisa Waggoner said the village disputed those assertions as speculation.

“He doesn’t know whether ordinance violation tickets have been issued on those or not,” Waggoner said.

But the village maintains it is not enforcing the nuisance ordinance selectively.

“The village writes tickets under the nuisance ordinance on a fairly regular basis,” Waggoner said.

Meanwhile, Kililis also has argued that Asmus’ planters don’t fall under this ordinance because they are not abandoned or unused implements, but rather have been repurposed as planters and are being used for planters.

“[Village officials] missed the point,” Kililis said. “It wasn’t junk; it wasn’t unsheltered storage. It was part of a creative display.”

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