University of Cincinnati Unfriendly Upholstered Couch Ordinance Is A Lie
CUF (Clifton Heights, University Heights, and Fairview Heights) have taken it upon themselves to pass and enforce an ordinance(s) which have no victim and fine people on their private property for an upholstered couch on their porch:
“Couch ordinances will be prioritized for 2014. Report addresses with couches on porches to Officer Johnson. After the first of January CPD and Board of Health will be driving through CUF and writing citations for indoor upholstered furniture being used outdoors.” – Clifton Heights, University Heights, Fairview neighborhood association newsletter (CUF) – December, 2013
When asked where this power over the private porch was conceived, Board of Health point of contact Rocky Merz stated that to his recollection no such ordinances exists; with the exception of a litter in the yard ordinance. He also stated that the City Board of Health ordinances can be appealed to the office of administrative hearings (OAH).
As absurd as this couch ordinance is, three issues to stand out:
- The first issue is that this is a victimless crime on private property.
- The second issue is that it is a fire code issue and not a health issue, so why is a Board of Health official and CPD involved?
- Third, this is beyond the powers of any Neighborhood Association and not legally binding unless it can be proven that an ordinance exists that was ratified and voted upon through the city council and or state of Ohio.
What University of Cincinnati college student and or property owner can afford a $5 – $600 fine in this economy? Is there now a trend to use petty fine ordinances against homeowners and students to generate revenue for local government budget shortfalls and criminalize young people? Those three issues above help bring up the next point.
From additional research, other communities implemented their couch ordinance under the fire code: Bloomington, Ann Arbor and Lawrence City. Nowadays, most couches are fireproof and so are cigarettes. So a fire hazard violation seems to make no sense when the students will just relocate to the backyard porch. Can local governments seek ordinances to ban the community’s youth, their ability to socially and freely associate by other means? Yes they can and they have. That youth should be heard and not seen is appalling to government to take advantage of their naivety monetarily more-so.
Some examples are:
- No loitering or congregating in groups already used on the homeless, while waiting for the bus.
- No getting together and sharing of food used against “Food Not Bombs,” community churches and charity organizations.
- No permit no freedom to peaceably assembly, used on the bonus army and the Occupy Movement.
When petty crimes are all the Cincinnati Police Department has left as crime to fight, then real criminals go free and unpunished like: rapists, armed robbers, and burglars. Just this week in Cincinnati’s Avondale community, a 3-yo young girl was shot in a crossfire between rival criminals. A few months ago a University of Cincinnati crime wave left students bleeding while shot and stabbed. Should this be how we now prioritize the time of law enforcement to serve and protect?
Bloomington bans porch couches with new ordinance
Ann Arbor City Council passes ordinance banning couches on porches
Lawrence passes ordinance banning couches on porches
Christian Homeless Ministry Threatened With Arrest for ‘Loitering’ on Public Property
Three black students waiting for bus arrested after cops order them to ‘disperse’
Food Not Bombs group arrested for feeding homeless, violating Orlando ordinance
Restaurant Forced To Stop Feeding The Homeless After Complaints From Nearby Businesses
Occupy’ crackdowns limited by First Amendment
Police take 6 into custody after 3-year-old girl shot in Avondale gun battle
Suspects flee after shooting, robbery near Uptown
UC Student robbed and stabbed