Reynoldsburg City Council voted last week to uphold a decision by the city's building review board to remove three Ohio Mills Corp. recycling bins because they did not meet city code.

Reynoldsburg City Council voted last week to uphold a decision by the city's building review board to remove three Ohio Mills Corp. recycling bins because they did not meet city code.

Ohio Mills Corp. is a for-profit company that collects and resells donated shoes and clothing. Marketing director Mike Plankenhorn said the company has a $2-million, 10-year contract with Ohio Special Olympics that allows the Special Olympics name to be placed on the bins. In return, Special Olympics receives an average of $16,500 from Ohio Mills Corp. each month, he said.

Plankenhorn said the three bins were removed from Reynoldsburg on May 19. The company will revise its proposal and return it to the city by July to see if it can meet the city's standards and have the bins put back.

Safety service director Pam Boratyn said she receives many complaints about dumpsters in the city that are either not screened or are located behind buildings. While bins such as those used by Ohio Mills Corp. serve a good purpose for depositing used clothing, this still doesn't stop the complaints, she said.

The bins were placed in front of three different businesses on Baltimore-Reynoldsburg Road, East Main Street and Taylor Road.

Development director Lucas Haire said the problem was that the bins were not properly screened according to the city code. The company was asked to present its plans for screening to the design review board in March.

"We classify these bins as service structures, so it's the same as a dumpster that would serve a building. We we would require them to be screened, like we would a dumpster," Haire said.

"These were not screened and they did not come to get permits to place them on those lots, so we had them come in and show us a proposal on a better location for them since they were blocking handicap-access ramps."

The company suggested in March that wooden boards be attached to the sides of the bins in order to screen them. The design review board then decided to put the issue on hold until its April 1 meeting.

No company representatives attended that meeting, so the design review board voted against the proposal.

"According to our code, we have to vote on these items within 45 days of the first meeting, so we didn't have the option of tabling it again to give them more time," Haire said.

Ohio Mills Corp. filed an appeal, asking city council to make a decision. Council voted 6-1 on May 17 to uphold the design review board.

Haire said this means Ohio Mills Corp. has a chance to come back to the board with a new proposal, but in the meantime, the recycling bins must be removed from the three locations.

Councilmen Barth Cotner and Fred Deskins said they agree with the design review board that the bins don't meet the city's code standards but said they would encourage the company to go through the process again and present another proposal.

Councilman Doug Joseph cast the sole vote against upholding the design review board's decision on the grounds that he didn't see a good reason to reject it.

"I thought it should be approved and they should continue to work with the city on what the final solution would be," Joseph said. "I thought we should work with them. They provide a valuable outlet for people to donate clothing.

"They were blocking the handicap access, but is something that can easily be fixed," he said.

dowen@thisweeknews.com