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Bellevue Grilling Ordinance Debate Heats Up On Independence Day

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

Mary Robb Jackson Mary Robb Jackson
Mary Robb Jackson joined KDKA-TV as a general assignment reporter in...
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BELLEVUE (KDKA) — Spurred on by honking motorists on this Fabulous Fourth, “Liberty In Bellevue,” struck a note for independence along Lincoln Avenue.

“I mean, who doesn’t want to have a cookout on the Fourth of July?” says community activist Tom Fodi.

The borough of Bellevue has been a battleground over a new burn ordinance banning backyard grilling within five-feet of combustible material including decks.

Some, like Erin Hogue of Liberty in Bellevue, see it as over-legislating. “That’s just an over-step. We know how to use our grills and we don’t need protection from ourselves.”

Also, under the new law, people with fire pits will have to obtain one-time only open-burning permits. It regulates the size of the fire and what materials can be burned.

That part of the law seems to be okay, according to Danina DiBattista.

“You know, the rules that say you can’t burn your tires, you can’t burn the plastic, it makes sense,” she said.

At Bellevue Memorial Park, it turns out Borough Council was doing all the holiday grilling, hosting a free cookout.

Council President Linda Woshner defends council’s 6-to-3 override of the mayor’s veto Tuesday.

“We believe that in the event that someone is being negligent, we’re going to be able to cite them and educate them,” she said.

But Woshner says the purpose is not just to slap violators with fines of up to $1,000.

“Our fire marshal is going to be very reasonable when it comes to this,” she said.

Another protest is planned for a week from this Thursday, July 12th, in front of the borough building.

They’re calling it a “Grill-a-thon.”

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