PALMETTO -- It's been 13 months since Palmetto officials began to address the overabundance of portable storage containers being used in the city to where officials believe they are an eyesore and safety issue.
City officials at first worked vigorously to create an ordinance dealing with the issue, but the subject dropped off the radar for several months until a draft ordinance came to the 4:30 p.m. Monday workshop and was to be considered at the city's 7 p.m. regular meeting.
Once again, the ordinance proposal failed as commissioners rehashed many concerns debated months ago.
Ward 2 Commissioner Tambra Varnadore said the ordinance was too much "a broad sweep and picking up more than we need to pick up."
Varnadore said it would affect residents too much by covering everything from a shed to a doghouse to a playhouse.
Public Works Director Allen Tusing said sheds are not an issue if permitted as an accessory structure, which are exempt, and doghouses and a child's playhouse are not defined as storage units.
Varnadore was unconvinced. She asked for a storage container definition and was unsatisfied with the one supplied.
The proposed ordinance, she said, would have a negative impact on residents.
The remaining commissioners struggled to agree on details, but did agree with Varnadore as a whole.
Ward 3 Commissioner Brian Williams raised a point about Rubbermaid-style tool-storage sheds and at-large Commissioner Tamara Cornwell said the city should determine an exact set of dimensions to distinguish containers the city is concerned about from those residents use.
Commissioners neared a compromise. City attorney Mark Barnebey said he believes he can bring an ordinance to the Jan. 26 meeting covering commission concerns about dimensions and exempting commercial districts.
Mayor Shirley Groover-Bryant expressed frustration over the long process after touring with commissioners last year to personally showcase the problem.
"My understanding from those tours was that we are all on the same page and that cleaning up the city was a priority," she said. "We need to get moving on this."
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter@urbanmark2014.