Vancouver city council limits use of personal fireworks - KPTV - FOX 12

Vancouver City Council limits fireworks to Fourth of July

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The Vancouver City Council voted unanimously Monday to limit the use of personal fireworks within city limits.

The public hearing on the revised ordinance lasted several hours and 30 people spoke, roughly half for and half against the measure.

At the first reading of the Sept. 24 ordinance, 14 people testified across all viewpoints.

Because local nonprofits make money from fireworks sales in Vancouver, changes to the law have larger implications than noise, fire, safety and pollution hazards cited by critics.

Mayor Timothy Leavitt said he recognizes the intensity of the issue, and added that the council has met more times this year to discuss fireworks than they have on the annual budget.

"I believe this ordinance is a compromise to banning fireworks," said Leavitt. "It's a big step in the right direction."

Currently, the city allows personal fireworks to be sold for seven days (June 28 to July 4) and discharged for four days (July 1 to July 4).

Under the proposed ordinance, sales would be limited to three days (July 2 to July 4) and people could only light fireworks on July 4.

The ordinance would go into effect in 2014. State law requires 365 days notice for changes in the fireworks code, so it's too late to shorten the season for 2013.

Earlier this year, City Council considered a different ordinance revision, one that would have limited the type of fireworks allowed to those it called "safe and sane."

That Council vote failed and the rules remained unchanged.

Vancouver is the fourth largest city in the state of Washington, and the largest to still allow personal fireworks to be used inside city limits.

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