Greenwood man hangs trailer from tree in front yard to protest ordinance

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Photo of the trailer hanging from Claude Tate's tree.

GREENWOOD, Ind. (Mar. 2, 2016)– Greenwood councilors will hold a public hearing Wednesday evening to hear about a property rights issue after a resident decided to hang his utility trailer from a tree to make a point.

Claude Tate suspended his trailer from a tree in his front yard to express his frustration with a City ordinance.

Last year, he received a notice from the City telling him he was violating an ordinance by parking his trailer in his yard. That ordinance prohibits residents from parking trailers or RVs on top of grass.

“The City can tell you what you can and can’t have in your yard,” said Tate. “I find that outrageous and oppressive!”

Instead, Tate was told he’d have to put pavement down if he wanted to park in his backyard; a task that would cost hundreds of dollars out of pocket.

So he hung up his trailer just high enough above the grass to make a point.

“What you do in your backyard oughta be your own business.”

The ordinance aims to prevent overgrown grass from creating health hazards. However, Tate said he maintains his yard and always keeps his grass mowed.

“It’s people who don’t that need to be regulated. And they got a grass law for that. They don’t have to pick on trailers and RVs to go after the grass.”

Councilman Chuck Landon gets Tate’s frustration.

“We have grass regulations,” he admitted.

He’s one of three councilors who will discuss the issue tonight at a public hearing and committee meeting at the Greenwood City Hall at 6 p.m.

While Tate is allowed to park his trailer on his driveway or inside his garage, Landon asks, who is the City to tell him he can’t park it in his backyard?

“These people have taken care of their yard. They do a good job. And we’re asking them to invest a lot of money for no real point at all,” said Landon.

Tate is hopeful the other councilors will get the message too.

“I want section C, which says you can’t park a trailer on grass, trailers or RVs on grass, I want it gone,” said Tate.

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