Mayor's Corner: Fireworks On Private Property Not Appropriate For Lakewood

Summer in Lakewood is fast approaching, and its arrival is welcome. It’s been great to feel the weather finally heating up, and we are all looking forward to the many fantastic events and programs that our community provides in the summer months. From Meet the Trucks on June 4th and the Summer Meltdown on July 16th to the diverse sports programming of the Lakewood Recreation Department and our centerpiece July 4th event in Lakewood Park (just to name a few), there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Of course, our July 4th celebration includes one of the region’s best and most loved fireworks displays, something our city is proud to offer in a safe and controlled environment for people to experience. But you may have also heard about recent legislation that I introduced to Lakewood City Council regarding fireworks use in our city.

Our local legislation was a proactive response to Ohio House Bill 172, which was passed by the Ohio Legislature late last year and makes the discharge of consumer grade fireworks legal statewide on a high number of days throughout the year. Thankfully, House Bill 172 also permitted local governments to opt out of the state legislation and craft ordinances appropriate for the characteristics of their local community.

I have heard from many of you that the discharge of consumer-grade fireworks on private property is not appropriate for Lakewood. I share this view, and so does the leadership of our fire and police departments. Our city continues to be the most densely populated in Ohio, and adding more fireworks use here can only cause unjustifiable risks. In addition, vulnerable members of our community – including veterans and others with PTSD, small children, and even our pets – are all highly sensitive to the intense noise fireworks create. Other communities might find it acceptable to allow people to blow off fireworks at will, but it’s clear that this is not the right approach for Lakewood.

I am thankful to Lakewood City Council for their partnership in reviewing and unanimously adopting Ordinance 11-2022 which updates the existing Chapter 549.10 of our Codified Ordinances to address the new state law and maintain our local ban on consumer-grade fireworks. This modified ordinance will keep our city safe and help our residents maintain the quiet enjoyment of their homes.

I look forward to seeing you all out and about as the weather continues to heat up, enjoying all the summer fun that Lakewood has to offer.

Volume 18, Issue 10, Posted 2:00 PM, 05.18.2022