City Shuts Down Boy's Free Library on His Front Lawn
9-year-old plans to fight City Hall in Leawood, Kansas
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2014 6:44 PM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A little city in Kansas is getting some bad press nationally because it forced a boy and his family to take down a small community book shelf in their front yard on Wednesday. Officials in the Kansas City suburb of Leawood say they had no choice but to order the Collins family to remove their "little free library" after getting two complaints, reports KMBC-TV. The "library" is essentially a box the size of a large birdhouse that sits on a stand, with a sign that reads "Take a book, leave a book." But under city law, it qualifies as an illegal "detached structure." (Click to see a photo of it set up via the Prairie Village Post.)

"I think the law is a good one," dad Brian Collins tells Fox4KC. "I think the intent of the law is a good one. I think applying it to something that won’t house mice is a bad idea." The family has moved it to the garage for now but plans to fight City Hall. "I want them to change the law," says Spencer, 9, who promises to read up on city code. "I think it’s unfair because it’s really good to the community." The family borrowed the idea from elsewhere, and it's not alone. (Click to read about a treehouse that got another family in trouble elsewhere.)

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Showing 3 of 88 comments
Marked as Spam?
Jun 20, 2014 7:10 PM CDT
9-year-old boy: "Take a book, leave a book." City: "burn a book, leave a scar"
Ms_Angie
Jun 20, 2014 5:52 PM CDT
If this was not disrupting traffic or anyone's life, why make them take it down? I think it is a great idea. I love to read. Having this in the summer is a great way to keep young minds active. Think of all the adventures your imagination could take you. I hope this young man beats city hall.
Ezekiel 25:17
Jun 20, 2014 2:01 PM CDT
My brother lived in one of those highly restrictive communities. His neighbor decided to put in a new garden with those nice tall flowers. I thought it was kind of nice. The HOA president drove around slowly all the time to scope out people's plots. He stopped one day while she was working in the garden and he said, "I'll give you a couple days to remove those flowers. You can't grow anything taller than a foot. If after three days you haven't removed them, I'll have my lawn people tear out your entire garden and bill you $1500." That lady moved and took all her plants with her and removed the garden herself leaving a huge mud puddle in its place.