Special July 4, 2009 Edition
Posted By: Dwight Merriam, Partner, Robinson & Cole, LLP
Happy Independence Day. By the time this is posted, I hope to be celebrating our country’s birthday at Block Island aboard our J/105 sailboat, ORIANA.
Fireworks are a serious business. Look at this sign, for example:
Courtesy Missoula County
Sweetwater County, Wyoming has a useful form for the seasonal sale of fireworks.
York County, South Carolina has a list of requirements for temporary fireworks stands.
Irwindale, California has some detailed regulations. The provision I like the best is this one at Section 8.16.090: “…nor shall any person smoke within such stand or other places of sale or within twenty-five feet thereof.” You would think this kind of thing doesn’t need to be said.
Oklahoma County, Oklahoma charges a fee based on the length of the fireworks stands.
Litigation over fireworks usually seems to start with a fire and an explosion, as in the nonconforming use case of Midwest Fireworks v. Deerfield where the fireworks company proposed to rebuild at four times the size of the buildings destroyed. What happens when the fireworks stand is closed down most of the year and wants to reopen after a new, restrictive law goes into effect? The Municipal Technical Advisory Service has an 11-page, single-spaced opinion letter on the subject, at least as to Tennessee, though much of the discussion cites cases across the country and is useful elsewhere.
Happy Fourth of July!