Village leaders say potty planters can stay

Community leaders say potty planters can stay

POTSDAM, N.Y. — After raising a big stink over one man’s use of toilets as planters in his yard, village leaders in a small New York town now say the potty planters can stay.

Hank Robar has placed toilets filled with artificial flowers in his yard and across other properties he owns, but his choice of decor didn’t sit well with the trustees of Potsdam, WWNY reported.

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In all Robar had toilets or bathtubs filled with flowers at seven different properties in Potsdam, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

On July 20, they told Robar that he must flush his flowers by Sept. 1. If he didn’t listen to the order, he would be taken to court.

The village was using a junk storage law to have Robar remove the vessels, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

But Robar said his plants were staying put and he hired an attorney to find out if he could keep his toilets where they were.

Robar went as far as a federal court to keep his porcelain planters and won. His case against the village had requested $7 million in damages if the village removed the toilets.

Mayor Reinhold Tischler announced Monday, “Villiage trustees, after considering the ... order of United States district court ... does hereby rescind the resolution dated July 20, 2020, directing Mr. Robar to remove the toilets,” WWNY reported.

A judge ruled on Sept. 21 that the village was “restrained, until further order from the Court, from enforcing’ the junk storage law, the Daily Times reported. But the court did not order the village to rescind the removal order itself.

Robar’s neighbors are torn about his choice to have toilets sprinkled across the yard. Some consider the display art. Others think it is funny. But one group that has not appreciated Robar’s floral arrangements is the village board. They have fought him on it, issuing warnings and violations since he installed his first toilet in 2004 as a protest, WWNY reported.

Robar’s attorney said the case isn’t over and despite the resolution’s repeal the case is still moving forward, the Daily Times reported.