Warren Ordinance Challenges Michigan Fireworks Law
WARREN (WWJ/AP) – An ordinance in suburban Detroit challenges some parts of a state law making powerful fireworks legal in Michigan.
Warren city officials on Tuesday night approved an emergency ordinance about when and where people may set off those fireworks.
City Council members voted 5-1 to ban the use of fireworks recently legalized by the state within 30 feet of a residential building, garage or open flame.
Warren’s ordinance is to take effect Friday, just days ahead of the July 4 holiday.
Mayor Jim Fouts originally wanted the ordinance to prohibit anyone from shooting off consumer fireworks within 200 feet of a residential area, but other elected officials said that would make it nearly impossible for residents to use fireworks at all.
“To have to be 200 feet away from any structure, where is that?” Councilman Patrick Green told The Detroit News. “There is nothing (in Warren), that is just silly.”
Bottle rockets, aerial cakes, Roman candles, firecrackers all can be sold and enjoyed legally after lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder erased the ban. Under the new law, local governments may not prohibit the sale of fireworks, but they may restrict their use – except during 10 national holidays and the day before and after each.
Fouts has said the new state law takes away cities’ ability to protect residents from hazards and nuisances.
Among the provisions in the Warren ordinance:
- Residents are allowed to use fireworks only on the day before, day of and the day after national holidays
- Minors are forbidden from using aerial fireworks
- Fireworks cannot be used between 10:30 p.m. and 11 a.m., in compliance of the city’s noise ordinance
- Fireworks may not be ignited within 30 feet of a residential building, garage or open flame
- Fireworks are forbidden in city parks and all public property such as streets and sidewalks
Several local governments in the state have already enacted some firework restrictions.
In some communities – like West Bloomfield, Royal Oak, Utica and Grand Rapids – the overall use of fireworks is banned, except for the day before, the day of and the day after a federal holiday.
Other communities — like Sterling Heights and Rockford — have imposed slightly loser restrictions, only prohibiting the use of fireworks between certain overnight hours.
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