ST. CLOUD, Minn. (WCCO) — There’s nothing quite like sitting outside, doing a little socializing and enjoying the weather on a nice day. But in St. Cloud, if you are doing all of that while sitting on a couch, you’ll soon be violating a city ordinance.
On Monday night, the city council voted to ban homeowners and renters from leaving indoor furniture outside. It goes into effect in 30 days.
The city says they’ll give a warning first. And then if you’re caught a second time with a couch on your front lawn, it’ll be a $100 fine.
“It’s unsightly and I think that it’s a hazard to the public,” said councilmember Dave Masters.
Masters represents the area around St. Cloud State, where more than 90 percent of the properties are rented by students. He says the city is trying to make the area more appealing for homeowners and couch potatoes make that difficult.
“Varmints would get in there – squirrels and mice and that kind of thing,” Masters said. “Also in the spring I know that we had three couches catch on fire.”
The city council may have had Sajin Alcid, a student, in mind when they wrote the ordinance.
“Everybody does this: we pull the couch on the lawn, get the grills going, maybe a slip ‘n’ slide,” Alcid said.
Alcid understands why lawmakers want the couches to go, but that doesn’t mean he has to like it.
“I understand that it does look a little trashy sometimes. But it’s just a big part of what college students like to do out here,” Alcid said.
The city council wrote the law after getting numerous complaints from homeowners.
Masters said they will look to educate people about the ordinance before any fines are handed out.