Residents have raised enough of a stink about backyard port-a-potties in York City that officials are proposing an ordinance to regulate outdoor toilets.
For now, there's nothing on the books that gives code officials the ability to cite people who have chosen port-a-potties over indoor plumbing.
That could change next month. The York City Council agreed at a committee meeting Wednesday to consider a proposal that would limit the use of portable toilets.
The proposal will be introduced at the council's Nov. 6 meeting. It could be acted upon Nov. 19.
The goal of the proposed legislation, according to building-code official Steve Buffington, is to minimize the use of port-a-potties. When portable toilets are used, the city wants to make sure they are kept clean, he added.
Temporary: Port-a-potties would still be allowed on a temporary basis. In some cases, permits would be required.
Allowable uses include special events and construction and road projects. Portable toilets would also be acceptable as "seasonal bathroom facilities on public and private parks and open recreational spaces," according to the proposal.
During public events sponsored by the city, portable toilets would be allowed without a permit for up to seven days. Organizers of private events could use port-a-potties for up to four days without obtaining a permit.
Maintenance: All uses -- permitted or not -- must comply with maintenance standards. The facilities would also need to be marked with the owner's name and a 24-hour "emergency phone number."
Under no circumstances would port-a-potties be OK as permanent facilities on residential or non-residential properties.
Councilman Michael Helfrich said he's heard complaints too about port-a-potties that aren't regularly cleaned.
"Their neighbors then had to suffer through the summer," he said.
-- Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.