Council aligns with state on fireworks rules

Companies wanting to sell fireworks in Webster City will have a little more flexibility in setting up their shops.

Responding to the latest change in state law, the City Council on Monday formally dropped local rules that limited, among other things, how close a fireworks store can be to a residence.

“We can no longer regulate all of that,” City Clerk Karyl Bonjour said when the topic was first considered at a May council meeting.

In 2017, fireworks were made legal in Iowa for the first time since the late 1930s. When fireworks were legalized, local governments had more power to regulate the location of the fireworks stores. In Webster City, those stores had to be at least 300 feet from any residence and at least 50 feet from a property line or public right-of-way. Also, all fireworks stores had to be single-story buildings.

During the just-completed Legislative session, local governments lost some of their power to implement those kinds of restrictions.

In a report to the council in May, Bonjour and City Attorney Zach Chizek wrote that the new state law “prohibits cities and counties in Iowa from enacting or enforcing local zoning restrictions on the location of permanent buildings or temporary structures within the commercial or industrial zoning districts used for the sale of consumer fireworks.”

The City Council on Monday unanimously approved the final reading and passed the measure eliminating its restrictions on fireworks stores.


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