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Lowering the Boom? St. Clair Shores to Consider Amended Fireworks Ordinance

St. Clair Shores officials directed City Attorney Robert Ihrie to draft an amended fireworks ordinance following an increase of complaints from residents.

St. Clair Shores City Council may consider an amended fireworks ordinance at their next meeting to address an increase in complaints of people setting off fireworks late at night in recent weeks. 

The increased use of fireworks has been attributed to a retailers to sell bottle rockets, Roman candles and other flying devices to consumers.

While the new law brings in new revenue, it also bars municipalities from regulating fireworks use on federal holidays – such as July 4 – or the day right before and after.

But following a flurry of complaints, St. Clair Shores City Council directed City Attorney Robert Ihrie on Monday to review the current fireworks ordinance.

"Even though it appears the language of the state legislature eliminates the city's ability to regulate the setting off of fireworks even at 1 o'clock,  2 o'clock, 3 o'clock in the morning," Ihrie said. "There are arguments that could be made that we still could take steps to regulate that type of behavior."

City officials stated that the police department has received increased number of calls for fireworks in recent days, and while the city attorney is drafting a revision to the ordinance, he recommended residents continue to call police to file their complaints.

"We need to do something," St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby said before directing Ihrie to amend the ordinance. City council may consider the ordinance at its July 2 meeting.

City Manager Ben Hughes also asked resident to be considerate of their neighbors as the Fourth of July holiday nears.

"Let's enjoy the holiday," Hughes said. "But let's do it in a way that understands we are a built up city with homes next to each other and there are some quality of life issues that affect others."

DJG June 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM
I absolutely could not agree more. While I think it's important to keep the revenue in the state of MI, the law should read, within city limits, fireworks are limited to the day before, day of and day after the holiday. I'm about tired of hearing them, EVERY NIGHT, at 10, 11 and midnight. Grow up people.
DJG June 22, 2012 at 11:09 AM
Funny...my parents live near Courtland and Timberidge. Some white trash yahoo has been firing them off every night. They've called the Police, and their answer is..."not much we can do". I can actually see the spent fireworks in this clown's backyard, unless we hire blind police officers, there is something they can do.
linda byrge June 22, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I totally agree... I live on the north end and someone the other night was letting them blow at 8:30pm and it lasted till 11pm....CONSTANT.... I even hear loud fireworks at 3 pm too...all hours...People don't care....When I work all day and come home to relax, I don't want to hear that constant loud noise...either does my dog....and this has been going on since mid May..you are right DJG, around the hoilday is fine but not a month and a half before ...some people have too much time on their hands and money to burn...literally....
GroovyMom June 23, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I had some friends from Troy over back in late May. While sitting in the backyard during the evening, we heard what sounded like a huge bomb exploding. It was so loud it made my chest hurt and scared the children. I felt embarrassed for my neighborhood even though it was only one person who used very poor judgment.
Marianne Courey June 23, 2012 at 10:16 AM
I live on the North end and last night they were so loud I thought something had literallly exploded. I would love to be able to sleep or enjoy time on my deck without this obtrusive noise all the time. As other people have said, grow up people and find something more constructive to do with your time. I have even taken to going to the offending peoples house and ask them to stop ( since the police can't do anything) and I have gotten "F... You" said to me. Nice neighbors here in St Clair Shores. Think I'll begin to look for a house in Oakland County if a reasonable ordinance can't be written and enforced.
Chuck Hall June 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM
There is nothing like the serenity of peace and quiet in a neighborhood. For our legisators to allow for the upsurping of the local control by municipalites is just plain foollish, putting tax revenues above the quality of life for citizens. St. Clair Shores ) council understands (well almost all members of council) Action will be forthcomming on this issue of who has the power to ordain local law regarding public nusiances such as fireworks ingnition during non legal timeframes.
Mickthecat June 23, 2012 at 06:39 PM
Big fireworks don't belong in a backyard. I hate the noise of the rockets but I'm afraid to leave my house at this noisy time of year just in case my roof catches fire and the house burns down. Big fireworks are best left to open areas with professionals handling them. Just say no to unlimited FW.
Marianne Courey June 23, 2012 at 07:12 PM
I totally agree Mickthecat. I have already emailed my thoughts,ideas and comments to City Council. Including making sure this new Ordinance includes language stating at least 50 ft away from homes and yards. I do not leave my house alone at all during this Summer. Very sad I as well as others are held hostage during the Summer months because of this stupid new law.
david wade June 24, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Its about time! I am sick & tired of the dirtball low-life wannabe pyro-techs and their late-night nonsense! Whatever happened to waiting til the fourth!?!
Mary June 25, 2012 at 12:01 AM
It is all about money ahead of quality of life. Very sad that politicians have to resort to this. I hate the noise every night. I have to get up for work at 5:00am and it is difficult to get enough sleep. I feel like I live in a war zone now as the noise is out of control.
Jason June 26, 2012 at 02:52 AM
Fireworks just woke up my two kids and searching the internet on SCS noise ordnances lead me to this article. I sure hope they pass some sort of legislation and quick. I have been dealing with this crap for a month now. It's one thing to hear them on the 4th but not the weeks leading up to it. Damn inconsiderate low-lifes.
walden schmidt June 26, 2012 at 09:39 PM
City ordinance 20.009 addresses disturbing the peace. State law already limits fireworks use to the day before, the day of and the day after the 10 recognized national holidays. Other than these 30 days, why can’t the police just enforce the existing ordinance? 20.009 - Disturbance of public peace. It shall be unlawful for any person to act in a violent, boisterous, turbulent, quarrelsome, indecent or disorderly manner, or to use profane, obscene or vulgar language, or to commit any act, or to do anything to disturb the good order, peace and dignity of the city, its inhabitants or other persons.
Rock Johnson June 27, 2012 at 11:56 AM
I have top 1% insomnia so bad that I am lucky to sleep 3 days a week. Ever since June my sleep is at an all time low. I am lucky to get 1 or 2 days a week now with the fireworks waking me up EVERY NIGHT. I cannot belive how long they have been going on and like others said, it is every single night for a matter of hours.
curlyvalentine June 27, 2012 at 10:04 PM
If the city ordinance is: 20.009 - Disturbance of public peace. It shall be unlawful for any person to act in a violent, boisterous, turbulent, quarrelsome, indecent or disorderly manner, or to use profane, obscene or vulgar language, or to commit any act, or to do anything to disturb the good order, peace and dignity of the city, its inhabitants or other persons. Why won't the police stand up for the residents?
Chuck Hall June 28, 2012 at 02:56 PM
There are really two complaints here: The first is that disturbances to the peace are in fact an infraction and it continues to escalate in neighborhoods. The second is I keep hearing that people call our PD and get a somewhat a negative response or no response giving scoflaws a grand opportunity. I would like to see this discussed at council on next Monday July 2nd and hear what our council members our officers should be doing to give the residents some relief and what they of these piggybacked complaints.
CJA July 13, 2012 at 10:35 PM
What was surprising to me is the jerks who think blowing off fireworks is freedom of expression. My dog was severely burned by someone expressing themself. I am sick to death of sitting in my yard listening to Iraq. Thank God they are doing something. To those who need to blow off firecrackers to express yourself...please move...we will help you...

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