Powell City Council does not expect to make or alter any laws governing electric scooters because its members believe the city has enough existing legislation to keep the scooters out of town.
At its Oct. 16 meeting, Powell's operations committee -- which handles topics regarding city operations before they reach City Council -- determined that no additional action is needed to ban e-scooter services such as Lime and Bird.
The two companies' scooters -- which can be rented with an app, ridden and then dropped off almost anywhere -- became ubiquitous in parts of Columbus over the summer, with that city scrambling to enact laws to keep them off sidewalks last month.
Powell's operations committee discussed scooters at its September meeting, and the committee nearly unanimously agreed they don't belong in Powell, with various members offering mild to severe opinions on the issue.
"I think they're a cancer," Mayor Jon Bennehoof said.
That September meeting concluded with a request that city staff members verify that existing laws and regulations will do an adequate job of warding off the scooters, and City Manager Steve Lutz told the group last week that the city's legal team is confident that Powell is already protected.
"If council's desire is to prevent (scooters) in the city, we believe we're equipped to deal with that," he said.
A report by the city's law team advised that a combination of city and state regulations means electric scooters are banned from sidewalks and trails in Powell and would be allowed on roadways only if they had proper lighting, rearview mirrors, a license plate and other attributes that are not found on Lime or Bird scooters.
Some operations committee members, including council member Brendan Newcomb, said in September they had not encountered the scooters. But several members returned in October to say they finally had seen the scooters in action and were even more concerned.
Newcomb said he saw one being ridden on Sawmill Parkway one morning without a helmet or light.
"You couldn't give him 3 feet," Newcomb said of the scooter operator. "It was a little dicey."
Though laws don't permit the scooters within city limits, Lutz said Powell police likely will be lenient on the rare rider who happens to get caught scooting through town.
"This isn't something where the police department will likely issue at ticket," he said. "They would inform the rider of our local and state ordinances."
Ultimately, council could have passed an explicit law banning scooters, but the committee found the idea to be redundant due to existing regulations.
"It sounds like we're equipped to handle this," operations committee chairman Brian Lorenz said.