“The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.” — Tacitus
So reads a sticker on one of fifteen toilets in the back yard of Anderson Twp., Ohio, residents Robin Sutton and Allen Lade.
After the city decided to install a sidewalk running along their property, the couple wanted to put up a fence, for privacy and the safety of their grandchildren. The township denied their request for a zoning variance, though, and in protest, up went the toilets.
“We pay taxes on every inch of our back yard. Why can’t I have privacy in my own back yard?” wrote Sutton on her Web site, which shows before and after pictures of the back yard and its toilets.
The display, which first went up last August after the zoning appeals board’s decision, has since been expanded. It now has 15 toilets, two skeletons, one on a toilet and one riding a plastic horse, numerous spray-painted toilet brushes, and potted plants and flowers in several of the toilets.
The couple says that almost all their neighbors – and the township development staff – supported their request for an exception. But the board of zoning appeals refused to budge.
Many neighbors say they don’t mind the decorative toilets – even after looking at them for eight months.
“We get a laugh out of it,” neighbor Susan Newell said.
But Rege Gruendl said he’d like to see the display removed.
“I think it’s goofy,” he said. “I think they should give up. They’ve gone overboard.”
Paul Drury, Anderson Township’s assistant director of development services, said he gets occasional calls about the yard display.
“Most of them are inquiries about why they’re allowed to do that,” he said. “We haven’t found any zoning violations.”
That underscores Sutton and Lade’s point, they say. Somehow, it’s okay to put 15 toilets in your yard, but not to erect a cedar fence. — Cincinnati Enquirer
Indeed, why not? Because the one jackass neighbor living behind them had to raise a stink about something as simple as a fence. What an amazing world we live in, where even a tiny minority can prevent you from exercising your property rights.