Letters for illegal tent structures draw harsh reactions
Structures ordered removed in city by Aug. 25
By KEVIN BONESKE
Twenty-six temporary tent structures that are used for storage and are no longer allowed in Rhinelander were discovered in the city this summer, fire chief/building inspector Terry Williams reported at Tuesday’s Public Safety Committee.
“I did my citywide ride-around and issued letters for removal of temporary tent structures, and that’s come with its own set of interesting circumstances – a lot of not-so-happy people coming into the inspection office,” said Williams, who also noted riding on every single street in the city took 5 hours and 15 minutes.
In addition to finding the tent structures not allowed, Williams said three metal accessory buildings that are not permitted were also discovered along with several other properties with trash and debris. The city code presently allows storage sheds that don’t match the architecture of the primary buildings of up to 10×10 feet.
“We didn’t just ride on every street and focus just on the tent structures,” he said. “We did find 26 of those, and everybody has until (Aug. 25) to remove those.”
Williams, who also mentioned he has a master list of the 26 temporary tent structures found in the city to check for compliance, said the Inspection Department staff has had to deal with people upset about no longer being allowed to have those structures in Rhinelander.
“The nastiness, the belligerence, I just think is really unfortunate,” he said. “And I think it’s uncalled for in a professional setting.”
The City Council this summer deleted language in the city code that had allowed temporary tent structures in Rhinelander for up to 120 days per calendar year, which Williams previously noted mostly involved the structures being used for storage during the winter months.
After his drive around the city last year, Williams reported about half of the 43 properties with “ordinance issues” had tent structures up without a permit.
The city code defined a tent as “any temporary structure or enclosure, the roof of which and/or one-half or more of the sides of which are constructed of silk, cotton, canvas, fabric, or a similar pliable material.”