Councilman vows to address zoning complaint that shut down Little Free Library

Little Free Library ordered to close its doors

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A Shreveport City Council member says he will do what it takes to get the Little Free Library back up and running in the district he represents, after it was shut down earlier this week by a zoning complaint.

"If we need to make a change to our ordinance, if there is something that we need to do, then I am happy to push through to city council," said District B Councilman Jeff Everson.

The little libraries have been popping up all over the world. It's an international neighborhood movement to promote reading, but on Thursday a Highland neighborhood couple received a cease and desist letter from the city telling them their library box was in violation of local zoning laws.

The local Metropolitan Planning Commission says the free book swap program constitutes a commercial business in a residential area.

Rick Edgerton the man who put up the little library box says he called the MPC on Friday and was told it would cost $500 just to appeal the closing of the box.

"At this point, I think it's just incumbent on us to find a solution as quickly as we possibly can," said Everson, who says he's proud of the effort to keep a positive addition to the Highland neighborhood alive.

"I've been tagged in a lot of the conversations going on, it's really kind of a privilege to represent such passionate constituency."

Earlier, Everson met with MPC zoning Administrator Alan Clarke to discuss a plan of action.

"It's a shame that this is how it came to our attention, but now that it's there it's our responsibility to address it in a way that it provides the community with an activity that I think has been very popular," said Everson.

Everson says he and the MPC will look at how other cities have handled similar issues, and also look at the interpretation of the zoning code of ordinances to see if changes need to be made to allow the book exchange to continue.

If those changes need to be made, Everson plans to move forward with presenting a resolution at the next council meeting.

As for the single anonymous complaint that led to the closing of the library, Everson says, "If there are people that have a concerns about them this is their opportunity to have those addressed so that we don't see those in the future."

According to the Bossier Metropolitan Planning Commission, there have not been any issues with the Little Free Libraries in their city. However, they say they are looking into adjusting their zoning code, just in case.

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