At its June 1, 2020 regular meeting the Lakewood City Council will review public testimony and discuss proposed changes to city code that would restrict when fireworks can be discharged within city limits.
Under Lakewood Municipal Code, fireworks are currently permitted in the city between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. on July 3, 4 and 5 and New Year’s Eve.
The proposed amendment before the City Council would further restrict the discharge of legal fireworks to July 4 between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. and New Year’s Eve only.
If approved by council the change would take effect in 2021, as required by state law which includes a provision that a year must pass before the restrictions take effect.
The City Council would like to hear from residents on the proposed change.
Comments can be sent via email to City Clerk Briana Schumacher at email@example.com, or by mailing written comment to:
City of Lakewood
Attn: Briana Schumacher
6000 Main St SW
Lakewood, WA 98499
In 2019 the City Council requested a review of the city’s fireworks regulations in response to concerns citizens raised over the years about the unsafe manner and conditions under which fireworks are used in Lakewood.
At the direction of council the Public Safety Advisory Committee conducted informal surveys, held discussions and reviewed regulations in place in neighboring jurisdictions. The result of that work was a recommendation not to amend city code due to a low impact of the calls for service around fireworks discharges, a demonstrated ineffectiveness of firework bans in neighboring cities, and difficulty in enforcing the ban.
While a complete ban may not be successful at stopping firework discharges in the city in the summer, a recommendation was made in February to the City Council to limit the discharge to July 4 only and New Year’s Eve.
This compromise allows people the ability to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks on the Fourth of July, while also reducing the overall amount of time fireworks are discharged, therefore decreasing the chances of fire or injury. The reduction will also limit the impact on neighbors who view fireworks as a nuisance and limit the impact to pets and animals adversely affected by loud noises commonly associated with fireworks.
In order for the change to be effective it is recommended multiple law enforcement emphases be conducted for several years to help educate the public about the change.
If the current restrictions on public gatherings are extended beyond May 31, 2020 the City Council will continue to meet in a virtual setting as allowed under the state’s Open Public Meetings Act.
If the council meets virtually, public testimony for the June 1 public hearing will only be accepted via mail or email. Comments received before 6 p.m. on June 1, 2020 will be provided to the City Council during the public hearing portion of its meeting on this matter.
For further information about the public hearing please contact City Attorney Heidi Wachter at 253-983-7704 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Residents can virtually attend City Council meetings by watching them live on the city’s YouTube channel.
Those who do not have access to YouTube can listen by telephone via +1(253) 215- 8782 and enter participant ID: 151082920.