On Tuesday, July 3rd, Bellevue Council chose to ignore the opinions and pleas of the majority of its residents and over rode the mayor’s veto of the burning ordinance in a 3-6 vote.
Bellevue Grilling Debacle of 2012 – An Update by Danina DiBattista
Many residents attended the meeting to offer suggestions all of which included taking the ordinance back to the discussion board, removing the grilling restrictions before putting up back up for vote. There was one person that vocalized their support of passing the current ordinance, and about 6 that vocalized removing the grilling section. Council ignored the public and went forward in passing the ordinance in its current state. According to the current ordinance, you cannot grill within five feet of any structure or combustible materials (trees, hedges, etc…), meaning that you’re not longer permitted to grill ON YOUR DECK. To be sure of this, we asked about this specifically and it was this fact was stated in no uncertain terms by council and verified with our council president.One of our goals of LiB is to bring the citizens of Bellevue together to raise this town up and allow it to reach its full potential! Is this burning ordinance going to prevent that from happening? NO, not directly. However, when people are looking to buy a home in the area, this debacle will be something that may make them think twice. Deciding whether or not to purchase a home in a town where the power is so deeply divided and the council members aren’t making decisions based on needs can be a frightening investment. There is a reason that the home sales, business districts and school districts of other areas of Pittsburgh are flourishing and we think Bellevue can be part of that list! Our hope is that there are no further ordinances are passed without proper research and statistical factors considered. The council admitted that they did not have many local statistics on this issue before passing the ordinance. Laws, rules and ordinances should be passed solely on a DIRE NEED basis, in my opinion. This entire debacle could have been avoided if Bellevue council would have just proposed that the borough simply adopt the Allegheny County burning ordinance as its own. Given the fact that the citizens of Bellevue were already under the law of the county to begin with, I don’t think it would have blown up the way that it did within the borough. Sometimes less is more.This issue originated by the chronic complaining of one person. ONE person. The incessant complaints of one, spawned a few more people to jump on board, but not nearly as many people were on board with it as compared with those that were against it. Is the “open burning” part of the ordinance a NEED? Yes. Is the “grilling” part of the ordinance a “NEED”? No. And that’s why it should have been removed. The small group of people that were doing the chronic complaining were mostly concerned with residents that were burning garbage, plastic, tires, etc… And I feel that they have every right to complain about that! I don’t think the use of grills were mentioned in their complaints, so how the grilling restrictions made their way into this ordinance, makes no sense to me. The members of LiB made it a point to repeatedly state that we were in full support of the “open burning” part of the ordinance. The opposition never once said that they wanted the grilling part to be removed…which leads me to believe that they were also just after the “power” move as well. This was not about compromising and coming to an agreement on something that will now effect a very large portion of Bellevue residents that grill on their porches or decks. I say “shame on you” to those that fought so hard for the burning ordinance, claiming that it was about burning of garbage…Why didn’t you stand up in defense of the residents of Bellevue and say that you didn’t want the “grilling” part to be included? We don’t need the government to protect us from ourselves.
Looks like our “Grill-abration” will be a protest after all. We had our fingers crossed that it would be a celebration, showing support and happiness that council listened to the public. We were really hoping that council would listen to its residents, the very people that voted them into office. After all, they’re representing the residents, aren’t they? When the citizens that they represent are telling them that it needs to be looked at again and revised, why wouldn’t they take the hint and do so? It seems that the hunger for power and fear of bruised egos got in the way of a blatantly clear disapproval by the public.
We will see you all on the 12th for our “Grill-Abration”! Click here for more information and to let us know that you’ll be there!