Shakopee man ditches toy drive in storage unit dispute

A Shakopee man has canceled his annual toy drive in a dispute with the city over the ordinance that bans the metal storage container that’s in his driveway.

Robert Weikle Jr. collects toys, puts them in the storage unit and then donates the toys to the “Hope for the Holidays” toy drive through Community Action Partnership of Scott, Carver and Dakota Counties, the Star Tribune reports.

Here’s the rub: The metal container is in his driveway the entire year.

He’s gotten two tickets so far and has a court date in January.

There might not be the bad guy in this dispute as it first appears, though. The city says it doesn’t want to shut down the toy drive, and it’s offered space in a city building to store the toys.

“What we’re trying to do here is show that we’re reasonable,” Nathan Burkett, the city administrator, tells reporter Erin Adler. “I don’t know what else I can do to make it easier.”

Weikle collected 5,000 toys last year.

“This isn’t hurting anyone,” Weikle said.

There’s a reason for the city code. Those storage units are ugly, although a neighbor tells the paper she’s OK with it as long as it’s being used for a toy drive.

“A code violation is a code violation,” Mayor Bill Mars said. “This is a problem he could solve on his own.”

In theory anyway, since he’s fighting the enforcement effort and since he’s vowed not to remove the storage unit, what’s preventing the toy drive from occurring?