Local News

Bloomington bans porch couches with new ordinance

The Bloomington city government banned upholstered furniture on porches as of December 28.

This disturbs the long-standing tradition in the college town of having a couch on the front porch. While students see it as a great place to crash between classes, city officials see a home for rats and mildew.

Porch couches were once common in America’s South. Before the advent of air conditioning, porch sitting was a way to cool off from the hot temperatures inside.

The last couple of decades have brought attempts to curtail upholstered furniture on porches and lawns. In 1998, a battle to ban porch couches in Wilson, N.C., was chronicled by the New York Times and billed as the “ultimate yuppiefication of the South” by Dan Carter, a professor of Southern history at Emory University in Atlanta.

The porch couch, which might have moved to Indiana by way of nearby southern influences, has found a home around college campuses across the country. But many communities with universities have decided to banish them from the landscape in recent years. They including Lincoln, Neb., in 2008; Pittsburgh, Pa., in 2009; Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2010; Ames, Iowa, in 2011; and Durham, N.C., in 2012. Decision-makers have cited health hazards and fire safety in imposing these ordinances.

The full legislation can be found here: Ordinance 12-27


12 Comments to “Bloomington bans porch couches with new ordinance”

    April said:
    January 14, 2013 at 2:04 PM

    The link in the story is not related to porch couch ban

    jennifer said:
    January 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    Way to go Fox 59! Let's not tell everyone that this ordinance only effects rental properties and lodging establishments. Great reporting! This is the actual ordinance if anyone wants to look at it. https://bloomington.in.gov/media/media/applicatio

    Bro Montana said:
    January 14, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Just another case of brocism in Bloomington!

    David said:
    January 14, 2013 at 4:03 PM

    Deredneckifying america one porch at a time!

    Seriously though, While I think indoor furniture belongs indoors, aren't there more important things to worry about?

    effinfedup said:
    January 14, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Porch monkeys ain't gonna like that…

    Jeff Dingus said:
    January 14, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    If this isn't tyranny I don't know what is.

    Ann said:
    January 15, 2013 at 4:38 AM

    Seriously? rats? I went to college there…the only rats I saw on a porch couch were
    the two legged kind….give me a break…some snooty women were behind that ordinance.

    barnyard freddie said:
    January 15, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Thats a bunch of horseshit if I ever seent it!

    guest said:
    January 15, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    So let me get this straight, a couch is fine indoors, but a fire hazard outdoors? Hmmmmm….

    Btonian said:
    January 21, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    They look trashy and make the whole street look like crap. End of story.

    Btonian said:
    January 21, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I might add that parents of kids who put couches on their porches would never tolerate that in their own neighborhoods. Just because Bton is a college town doesn't make it okay for a neighborhood to look like a shanty town. "Real people" live in Bloomington too, grownups trying to make a living and keep their homes and neighborhoods looking nice.

    high end furniture said:
    February 10, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    Very sorrowing news that The Bloomington city government banned upholstered furniture on porches as!!! I was love this brand and still now. And I hope it will be overcome. Thanks!!!!!!!!!