With harsh cold and snow forecast for much of the state in the next few days, officials in Ohio’s Department of Aging are urging precautions for older people who could be at increased risk of weather-related problems.
Columbus Begins Citations for Porch Couches
Eighty one days after Columbus City Council voted to ban the use of indoor furniture on porches and decks, couches and recliners sit on dozens of porches in the Ohio State campus area. OSU junior Gray Nastalls proudly displays a dilapidated brown sofa on the porch of his 13th Avenue home. He says he hasn’t been asked to move it:
Nastall’s friend Brandon Nutting has opposed the ban since it was proposed. He says the ordinance takes away his basic rights.
University and city officials pushed for the ban. A large concern was safety after several high-profile riots and fires in the campus area. Investigators suspect a house fire that killed five people in 2003 started from a couch on the front porch.
The Columbus Code Enforcement Department is in charge of enforcing the ordinance. Code enforcement manager Dana Rose says the city is enforcing the new ordiance mainly by responding to complaints:
People caught violating the ordinance are given a warning and 20 days to remove the furniture. Rose says with the bulk of students returning from summer break within the next month, they expect to see an increase in violations:
But students remain defiant and loyal to their couches. Student Brandon Nutting says until he sees more people getting written up, he isn’t worried about it: