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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."

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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