Saturday, April 20, 2013

Urban Camo: Hiding from the Code Cop

Y'all know how I feel about HOAs.  We bought our house here in part because I didn't want to feel the geezer panopticon gaze every time I walked outside lest I choose to leave a child's toy there for more than 10 seconds, which would obviously be completely unacceptable and deserving of a large fine.  But that doesn't mean I live in the Wild West of real estate. My city does have something to say about certain things.  One of those things?  Trash cans.  They cannot be visible from the street. From any angle.  At any time of day except for 12 hours before trash pickup and up to 12 hours afterward.

Recently, Ryan and I cut down a small, misshapen Maple tree and an ugly evergreen bush that just happened to obscure the view of our trashcans.  And while our piece of the city tends toward disheveled, I didn't want to get a warning, let alone a ticket, from the code enforcer.  So I had to get creative.  How could I hide the cans without spending any money?

The fearsome view of the north side walkway.  
While pondering this issue, I noticed that we had a huge pile of evergreen branches from last weekend's cut-down-spectacular, and I had a moment of brilliance.  

We'd use greenery.  Of course, it'll dry up and waste away in the coming weeks, but it'll do for now until I come up with a more permanent solution (also gives me the chance to set aside the cash).  

Zip ties and evergreen branches.  The perfect combination.
Since we already had an ungodly amount of zip ties in the garage, this project could be tackled within seconds of my inspiration.  Thank goodness Ryan had already eaten and was well-beered, so he was a-rarin' to go.

Voila!  No more trash cans.

I think the gate looks pretty darn awesome for such a quick fix, and you can't see the zip ties unless you know they're there.

I do need to come up with a long-term solution, though. Any ideas that are attractive and inexpensive?


  1. Hooray for using what you've got!

    All of the suggestions that I can come up with in my head involve lumber, and that can be pretty pricey unless you can find someone giving it away on Craigslist!

  2. Ignore the "rule"? We have never hidden ours...... And the good Lord knows the code enforcer knows better than pick on the neighbors of the "Taj Mahal"..... Don't want to get us started on "code enforcement rules". :)

  3. You can get vinyl strips in white and likely green as well, that are made to be woven through chain-link fences like yours. A bit picky to weave in and out, but actually fresh and nice when finished.


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