On Wednesday, March 11. City Council voted to ban couches on people’s porches. In legislation sponsored by member Bruce Kraus, the Council voted unanimously to make changes to the city ordinance that would ban upholstered furniture designed for indoor use in an outdoor setting.

People violating this ordinance can be fined up to $500 plus court costs.

Kraus began that segment of the meeting by showing video of couches being set on fire in Oakland. At one point, Kraus stated that “Rome was burning” although later he toned down the rhetoric.

The text of the bill in its entirety below:

“Ordinance supplementing the Pittsburgh Code, Title Six, Conduct, Article I: Regulated Rights and Actions, by adding Chapter 614 entitled, Outdoor Storage of Furniture.

Whereas, the City of Pittsburgh has determined that indoor furniture stored on the exterior of property raises serious health concerns because the materials contained in the fabric and filling create a nesting place for rodents and insects, creating a nuisance and health hazard to the community, and

WHEREAS, the City has also determined that indoor furniture can be flammable, and the inappropriate storage poses a fire hazard to property, and an unnecessary burden on the city’s 911 Fire Emergency System.

Be it resolved that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh hereby enacts as follows: Section 1. The Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances, Title Six, Conduct, Article I: Regulated Rights and Actions, is hereby supplemented by adding Chapter 614, Outdoor Storage of Furniture, as follows:
Chapter 614. Outdoor Storage of Furniture
§ 614.01. DEFINITIONS
As used in this chapter, terms are defined as follows:

“Upholstered furniture” means any furniture that contains attached filling material and is used or intended to be used for sitting, reclining or resting indoors.

“Unenclosed” means any front, side or back porch, patio, deck or balcony that is not closed in to shield it year round from the elements.
§ 614.02. UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE OR MATTRESSES IN YARDS PROHIBITED.
The use, keeping or storage of any upholstered furniture manufactured primarily for indoor use, including but not limited to mattresses and box springs, sofas and chairs, shall be prohibited on any front, back or side yard or patio visible from any public or private place, sidewalk or highway
§ 614.03. USE OF PORCH FOR STORAGE PROHIBITED.
The use, keeping or storage of any upholstered furniture manufactured primarily for indoor use, including but not limited to mattresses and box springs, sofas and chairs, shall be prohibited on any front, back or side unenclosed porch, deck or balcony visible from any public or private place, sidewalk or highway.
§ 614.04. PENALTIES FOR OFFENSES.
Any person violating Chapter 614 shall be fined a minimum of two hundred dollars ($200.00) and a maximum of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) plus court costs. Each day the condition continues shall constitute a separate offense.”