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Royal Oak Officials Seek Repeal of State Fireworks Act

Opposition to law prohibiting cities from regulating fireworks businesses isn’t just philosophical; a proposal for a retail fireworks store goes before the Planning Commission Tuesday.

The Royal Oak City Commission will take up a resolution Monday urging the state to repeal the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act. (Patch file photo)
The Royal Oak City Commission will take up a resolution Monday urging the state to repeal the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act. (Patch file photo)

Royal Oak City Commissioners will consider a resolution Monday urging the state to repeal the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act of 2011, which critics say takes away local control and makes the cities like Royal Oak powerless to regulate activities that may endanger citizens.

Public Act 256, which prohibits local governments from regulating the sale, display, storage, transportation or distribution of fireworks, took effect Jan. 1, 2012.

Royal Oak city commissioners opposed it then, and the issue is being brought up again at the request of Mayor Jim Ellison and Commissioner Mike Fournier.

“The loss of local control on this important issue risks the quality of life and safety that our residents expect us to preserve,” Ellison said in a statement. “The irony of the Michigan Fireworks ‘Safety’ Act is that it allows for the storage of explosives next to our homes and businesses.”

They said the law limits the authority of the Royal Oak Planning Commission over a proposed retail fireworks store located at 1638 E. Lincoln. The Planning Commission will take that proposal up Tuesday.

“Despite receiving numerous quality of life concerns from residents on this proposal, Act 256 expressly limits our ability deny the plan simply because the use of the property is the retail sale of fireworks,” said Ellison, who is also a longstanding member of the planning commission.

“The act basically prohibits a local unit of government from treating a fireworks store differently than any other retail use,” he said.

The mayor said he is also concerned with fireworks-related noise, litter and a rise in complaints to public safety officials since the law went into effect.

Monday’s commission meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held in Room 315 of City Hall.


TJO May 17, 2014 at 08:44 AM
Not to mention it's a lie when Babbie says Fresh Approach is in no way involved. The owner is at the planning commission on camera by his side stating that he will be watching over the place in his absence, which speaks to Babbie's credibility.
RON Ostrodamus May 22, 2014 at 12:03 PM
YAAAS, the battle cry should be community safety. Especially the right of a city to protect its children. What is next on Babbies agenda. Judging from a posted photo perhaps an outdoor shooting range behind your home, or local elementary school? FINALLY the mayor has come up with the novel idea that litter is a quality of life issue in RO? Besides used bottle rockets and embers from burning homes I have been posting since Genesis that this city needs a littering ordinance with a stiff fine as citizens are up to their knees is tossed butts downtown and on surrounding neighborhood streets. The trees and flower beds downtown are not ashtrays, neither are the sidewalks. A one hundred dollar fine for first offense, a two hundred dollar fine for a second offense and a five hundred dollar fine for a third offense should make that point quickly. Every street in the CBD and the parks should have a sign stating that the fine for littering is five hundred dollars. Been saying this for a long long time. Any proceeds for those fines could ideally go directly to library and park improvements, or the pension deficit. Nothing else! Again, the main concern raised about fireworks is community and child safety, not just littering and the mental health of your dog, or cat.

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