The Urbana City Council will hear the second reading of an ordinance sponsored by council member Ray Piper that includes lawn clippings in the city’s definition of “litter” at the regular meeting at 6 p.m. today. At the last meeting council member Dwight Paul said this ordinance may relieve problems caused by grass clipping plugging the storm sewer, but he and other council members discussed the difficulty of enforcing such an ordinance.
“I’ve been getting a lot of complaints about people blowing their grass out in the street, and some low-speed riders are crashing. I’ve crashed mine because of grass,” said Piper. “It just looks nasty out there on the streets and I think it’s time people start taking care of it. If you blow your grass out there, you can blow it back in your yard to get it off the street.”
City Law Director Mark Feinstein said that Piper wanted lawn clippings added to section 531.08 of the Urbana code, which specifically addresses litter, because defining it as litter not only gives the city the ability to deal with it if it’s a nuisance, but also assesses criminal penalties for littering.
“The reason for this is because I’ve gotten a lot of complaints on this,” Piper said. “I’m just doing my job as a councilman to let people know that I am working for them, and straighten the ordinance out.”
Also at this meeting, council will hear four resolutions that may come to a vote on first reading. The first accepts the report of the Urbana Tax Incentive Review Council on the status of the Enterprise Zone and Community Reinvestment Area agreements.
The second authorizes the director of administration to apply to the Ohio Department of Transportation under the small city program for improvements to South High Street.
The third authorizes the director of administration to enter into a memorandum of agreement between DriveOhio and the city to participate in the autonomous (self-driving) vehicle pilot program and to promote autonomous vehicle testing sites in the city.
The fourth indicates local support of an application by the developers of Legacy Place to the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program. This application concerns plans to create senior housing in three unused structures: the former Douglas Hotel, Urbana South Elementary and Urbana North Elementary.
The mayor is expected to begin this meeting with a proclamation about Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. The meeting is scheduled to end with an executive session concerning personnel.
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304