Piqua Commission discusses city burning regulations


By Eamon Baird

[email protected]

PIQUA — Tuesday, the Piqua City Commission held a special work session to discuss a proposed ordinance to regulate city burning activities.

Ward Four Commissioner Thomas Hohman introduced the proposal’s details to the other commissioners, at the meeting on Tuesday, April 16.

“Some background on why we are doing this is obviously because of the battery burning that has consumed so much interest and time of the city as of late — we had a multipart plan to address that,” Hohman said.

Section one of the proposed ordinance states: “The City of Piqua shall not allow the use of city-owned property for the destructive testing of batteries, equipment, or devices of any kind, including but not limited to deflagration testing.”

The proposed ordinance says training fires intentionally set on city-owned property shall consist exclusively of class A (wood or paper), B (petroleum-based), and K (combustible cooking materials such as vegetable oil).

Additionally mandated in the proposed ordinance will be the presence of at least one authorized Ohio firefighter for the entirety of any scheduled burn.

“We don’t want a repeat performance of what happened before,” Mayor Kris Lee said during the work session discussion.

After concern was raised from previous commission meetings, Ward Two Commissioner Paul Simmons asserted no burning of chemically treated pallets for testing.

“We should call that out, that no wooden material here that has been chemically treated shall knowingly be burned,” Simmons said.

Frank Patrizo, law director for the city of Piqua, assured Simmons the permit Piqua will receive will not allow the burning of chemically treated pallets.

At the end of the work session, Hohman said the proposed ordinance would only take effect for city-owned property.

“So, anybody at home, your private business, your place of residence this has absolutely zero to say about what you burn on your property,” he said.

The commissioners plan on formally introduce this as an ordinance at the next commission meeting on Tuesday, May 7.

In old business, the commissioners passed an ordinance to make appropriations for the city of Piqua for 2024.

The commissioners also heard the first readings for the following ordinances:

• For the city of Piqua to become a certified local government (CLG) working with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). This proposed ordinance will create a new boundary line in the Piqua Historic District; create processes and procedures for the review of landmark designations; and create a City Historic Review Commission (CHRC).

• To amend chapter 32 to include the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), and the new City Historic Review Commission (CHRC).

• To modify title XV of land usage in the Piqua development code in multiple sections. Kyle Hinkelman, community services director for the city of Piqua, explained the reasoning for this proposed ordinance.

“Our development code was adopted almost one year ago, this development code was a big change for the city and it encompassed a number of large scale changes,” Hinkelman said. “Over the last year we have found that a lot of that is great but some of it as a living document requires us to make some changes.”

A list of the proposed changes to the Piqua Development code can be accessing the agenda at piquaoh.org/282/City-Commission and selecting agendas and minutes.

During the commissioners comments portion of the meeting, residents were reminded to pay attention when cutting grass and to make sure it doesn’t end up on the road which can be harmful to motorcycles and bicycles.

“As we get into more of spring we’re all cutting grass and doing yard waste and those things, we want to make sure that you dispose of those things properly and don’t cause anybody to serious kinds of accidents because of sliding on grass on the street,” Ward One Commissioner Jim Vetter said.

“As a former motorcycle rider, if you’re doing your lawn, and that outside strip make sure it blows to the inside of the yard,” Simmons said. “I’ve had friends seriously wreck and one of them passed away because they hit grass on the street.”

Ward Five Commissioner Frank DeBrosse was not in attendance at the meeting.

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