Township sues Planet Aid over donation box placement
Painesville Township is suing non-profit Planet Aid, accusing it of repeated zoning violations.
Planet Aid is a nationwide non-profit that donates clothing to people in need from donations gathered at public drop boxes the company sets up, typically in business parking lots. But some township trustees and business owners are growing frustrated that these donations aren’t being collected in a timely manner.
“They’ve been a habitual offender of our zoning code,” said township Trustee Gabe Cicconetti. “People donate stuff but it ends up piling up on the side and it just sits there and becomes an eyesore
The lawsuit, filed in Painesville Municipal Court, includes six separate counts, one for each of the locations that Planet Aid has one of its drop-off bins without permit or permission. The sites include three along Mentor Avenue and three along North Ridge Road.
Each count carries a misdemeanor fine not to exceed $500 for every day that they continue to violate the township’s zoning regulations, according to court records.
Not only were the bins dropped off throughout the township without permission, Planet Aid failed to respond to repeated requests and inquiries from officials, Cicconetti said.
“Many requests were made to try and remedy the situation,” he said. “We try to be as easy as possible to deal with and as forgiving, but there comes a time when we have to look out for our community and they just weren’t doing what we were asking. We had to file with them in court to get their attention.”
Township Administrator Michael Manary feels confident that although “the case has not been resolved yet, we are in discussions with Planet Aid to resolve the matter before a judge has to hear it.”
Planet Aid did not return a phone call for comment.
Painesville Township has sued Planet Aid over the placement of its donation boxes.