Washington Street residents ar...
HOLLY, Michigan – Late night fireworks launched over a historic Washington Street neighborhood and a lackadaisical response from the Holly Police Department have sparked outrage among residents, and now have Holly Village Council members considering a new ordinance.
Resident Carol DenOtter-Todd said her decision to bring the problem to council resulted from several incidents in which her neighbors continued to launch airborne fireworks over her Washington Street home.
“In some cases, these items have soared above our homes, sending sparks down upon our rooftops and onto our very dry lawns,” DenOtter-Todd said. “The explosions have rocked our windows, woken children, sent pets running for cover, and woken adults as well.”
DenOtter-Todd said the neighbors responsible for the launches have no respect for her family or for her property. “They are launching from the road, private property, and as of last night, they were actually launching from the (Cyclone) ballpark.
After calling the Holly Police Department for help, DenOtter-Todd was told that she should attend a council meeting and make her comments known there.
“On Sunday evening, I was told that there was nothing that could be done – we had no noise ordinance in the village that would cover our concerns,” she said. “This was after I was awakened after 10 p.m. by a house-shaking bang that literally rattled our windows in our 100 year old home.”
Efforts to ask those responsible for the launches to stop only caused further irritation and confrontation, DenOtter-Todd said.
“I’m asking you – no, I’m actually begging you to please consider passing an ordinance like so many other communities in Oakland County and through the state have done proactively,” she said. “We ask that you consider limiting the days of the year and the time of the day that fireworks are actually allowed.”
With no current ordinance in place, DenOtter-Todd said she and other residents continue to live in fear. “We’re living in fear of our homes and/or our land going up in flames as long as our neighbors are allowed to launch airborne fireworks and explosives,” she said. “I would also recommend that the noise disturbance ordinance be revised to reflect this kind of disturbance.”
Village President Jeff Miller said he had received a call from another resident with similar complaints. “They called the police, and the police said they can ask them to be quiet, but there wasn’t much they could do,” Miller said. “I think we need some education and really some kind of leadership in this, or I think one or two people need to brush up their resumes,” he added. “This is the second time I’ve heard something that is shear crap by people on the payroll.”
Heather Davis, also a resident of Washington Street, is a certified pyro technician and has been dispatching legal fireworks for 20 years.
Davis told council members that under Michigan law, residents are allowed only to use Roman candles, firecrackers and small aerial displays.
“You can only shoot 1.75 cake items,” Davis said. “They were shooting 3-inch shells that can go 300 feet – everything on our street is completely illegal.”
Village Manager Jerry Walker will be meeting with Washington Street residents next week, and said that he is putting the wheels in motion to develop a new firework ordinance for council’s consideration, as well as revising the village’s old noise ordinance to include fireworks.