Leawood throws the book at Little Free Library


By Travis Perry │ Kansas Watchdog

OSAWATOMIE, Kan. — The city of Leawood is using the full power of the law to protect property values from the threat of, uh, free cabinet-sized libraries.

A municipal statute designed to ban all detached structures is being levied against Leawood residents Brian and Sarah Collins after their 9-year-old son, Spencer, worked with his dad and grandpa to build the Little Free Library as a Mother’s Day gift.

The concept is nothing if not quaint; think “take a penny, leave a penny,” except with books. While the initiative has been allowed to flourish unhindered in surrounding communities such as Prairie Village, Leawood has taken a strict stance against the matter. The issue isn’t the diminutive library’s existence, but rather its location.

City code starkly forbids any detached structure, “including garages, barns, sheds, greenhouses, above ground pools, or outbuildings.” The Collins would need to attach the storage box to their house to comply with the law, but that would also drastically reduce its current curbside visibility.

While the Collins have already aired their grievances on the matter, other folks are taking to the web to spout off about the city’s judgement — or lack thereof — on the issue.

@ksMatters Right. Leawood believes they’re are an “eyesore,” apparently.

— Stephen T. Shaffer (@stephen_shaffer) June 19, 2014

Ask Leawood mayor Peggy Dunn why she hates kids reading and sharing books. peggyd@leawood.org http://t.co/ncuYXz5vmY

— Nicolas Martin (@nsmartinworld) June 19, 2014

@kmbc @HaleyKMBC Whats Next, Leawood. Kansas….Lemonade stands??

— yikesks (@yikesks) June 19, 2014

@BreitbartNews Literacy is apparently a code violation. http://t.co/tJdcbUCMck

— Michael H. Jenkins (@MichaelHJenkins) June 19, 2014

Cluck! Government run amok http://t.co/xremK6MC74 Ain’t in Kansas anymore, Toto! #tcot #TEAparty #tlot

— Rooster Pisces (@roosterpisces) June 19, 2014

@KCMidtowner interesting window into what leawood thinks people value in a neighborhood. Bet it’s based on a single incident years ago.

— Matt Nugent (@MattNuge) June 19, 2014

Contact Travis Perry at travis@kansaswatchdog.org, or follow him on Twitter at @muckraker62. Like Watchdog.org? Click HERE to get breaking news alerts in YOUR state!