Local News

Couches banned from Durham porches, yards

Posted June 5, 2012

— Couches are indoor, not outdoor furniture, according to the Durham City Council.

The council voted unanimously Monday night to change the city ordinance to ban putting upholstered furniture outside on front porches and in yards.

City officials said several residents complained that outdoor couches were an eyesore and unhealthy because upholstery retains water.


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  • TipTip Jun 7, 2012

    I totally agree with the ordinance. I have seen couches and kitchen chairs on FRONT porches of people's homes and it is a complete eyesore. I live in Raleigh and pass thru the south side everyday going to work. The porches are filled with indoor furniture. Just take a stroll thru S. Blount street and observe.

  • hedgy_one Jun 5, 2012

    Raleigh has been looking at doing this same thing for several years now.... Since Durham has passed the ordinance, Raleigh will be next! Watch & See!!!

  • mpheels Jun 5, 2012

    OK, I just looked up the actual text of the ordinance. The prohibition is against the use of furniture outdoors if it was not designed for use outdoors. So outdoor upholstered furniture is OK and any indoor furniture is banned (even non-upholstered). That makes much more sense. I had never heard of this kind of ordinance before. It would be nice if the article was more accurate re. what is banned and what is not.

  • tarheelgrad1998 Jun 5, 2012

    Seems like the HOAs are now trying to take over city hall. Mind your own business.

  • Transcoder Jun 5, 2012

    Re mpheels remark: "BUT, there are upholstered outdoor couches, just check the outdoor/patio section of Target/Lowes/Home Depot, etc..."
    There is an obvious difference between outdoor furniture with upholstered cushions (generally waterproof) and upholstered indoor furniture (wood frames covered entirely with fabric) used outside.

  • pmck Jun 5, 2012

    Oh brother. The march to socialism continues...

  • look deeper Jun 5, 2012

    This is really what Durham has the time to focus on. Seriously, how far down the top 100 list of problems in Durham is couches on the front pourch or yard? This is a true representation of "politics" at its best.

  • Six String Jun 5, 2012

    Out of curiosity I looked up the definition for upholstery and it seems to be very nebulous in terms of what it means. I think mpheels is right, unless Durham has tightly defined the words "upholstered furniture" a lot of outdoor furniture will meet the definition according to Webster's Dictionary. More work for the lawyers, I guess.

  • Aaron Jun 5, 2012

    This should be a nationwide ban

  • nonPC Jun 5, 2012

    I get where the city council is headed with this, to keep people from leaving moldy, tattered furniture on porches and in yards. BUT, there are upholstered outdoor couches, just check the outdoor/patio section of Target/Lowes/Home Depot, etc... So now residents who take pride in their homes and have put in the effort to set up a nice outdoor sitting area can't use outdoor furniture that happens to have cushions?

    Like every other city that has enacted this type law there probably is a provision for such furniture if the fabric is rated for outdoor use