The Village city council passed on ordinance at their meeting Tuesday night banning tree logs from front yards.
The ordinance stemmed from controversy surrounding a large bench carved out of a log sitting in the front yard of Mark Bishop’s Village home.
Bishop carved Thunder into the backside of the bench and said it was meant to be a source of community pride.
Instead, Village city leaders said they got so many complaints that they had to draft an ordinance in essence banning the bench.
Vice Mayor, Jerry Broughton II said, “I think art’s great you know but I’ve always lived by when I knocked on doors trying to run for office, I always told people my rights stop where someone else’s begins.”
“It’s nothing against you or your hard work or anything like that,” said Mayor, Chris Bernardy.
One interested citizen who attended the meeting said this brings up a discussion on art.
“If you’re going to ban something like this, my question might be what’s going to be next? But banning this, we are indeed defining art and I don’t know if the government can or should do that.”
The new ordinance bans any tree log or modified tree log that is placed or is located in the front yard or side yard of any residential property regardless of use or purpose unless the log is concealed from public view by a sight proof fence.
It doesn’t apply to landscape timbers that are properly maintained and in use in flower beds or firewood that is neatly stacked against the house or in the side yard.
Mark Bishop said, “It did single me out. If I’d made it out of plastic, would that be ok? If I’d made it out of a rock, would that be ok? I feel that it’s a little bit anal what they’re doing right now.”
“That isn’t that we don’t like the Thunder basketball team. It’s been marvelous for the city. But we don’t want it carved on a ten foot ugly log sitting in the middle of a front yard that just trashes the neighborhood,” said Nora Owens, who spoke up against the bench at the city council meeting.
The council did not give Bishop a specific amount of time to move the bench, so Bishop says for now it stays, until he gets a ticket or sells it.
The bench is on sale for $2000.