- Associated Press - Monday, April 21, 2014

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Waterloo officials are considering limiting roadside memorials erected at the site of deadly car crashes.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Monday that the majority of the City Council called last week for an ordinance that would set rules for the memorials, such as the allowable size and time they could remain.

“At some point you have to draw the line somewhere,” said council member David Jones, who joined three others in calling for an ordinance.

Two other council members opposed the move, including Carolyn Cole. She predicted a “nightmare of enforcement” when an ordinance is in place.

Mayor Buck Clark said he’ll talk with department heads and might appoint a committee to draft rules for a proposed ordinance, but he’s also opposed to the idea.

“It’s my opinion that having a specific ordinance … is going to open up a can of worms that we don’t necessarily have to,” Clark said.

Waterloo and most other cities already make it illegal to erect signs or displays in public right of ways, but officials usually allow memorials to crash victims as long as the displays don’t create traffic or pedestrian hazards.

Council member Steve Schmitt said guidelines would ensure consistent enforcement.

Even supporters of the move acknowledge it will require a sensitive balance between grieving relatives and the public’s need for roadsides that are free of distractions and obstructions.

“You hate to be the bad guy and say we don’t want these here,” said council member Ron Welper, who supports drafting an ordinance.


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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