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King County accepting public comment on proposed fireworks enforcement rules through April 10

Summary

Local Services is accepting public input on a proposed ordinance that establishes a complaint-based process for warnings and citations for fireworks violators. This is the first year that consumer fireworks are banned in unincorporated King County.

Story

Now that consumer fireworks are prohibited in the unincorporated areas, King County is working to establish a complaint-based process that addresses violators and wants to hear from the public.

 

Residents can submit their comments on the proposed ordinance through April 10. The amendments include:

 

  • Classifying violations as “civil violations” rather than criminal. It also specifies that a violation of a "reckless manner which creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person or damage to the property of another” is classified as a gross misdemeanor.

 

  • Requiring a public complaint be filed with the Permitting Division of King County Local Services to trigger enforcement of fireworks violations and imposition of civil penalties. Complaints must:

 

    • Include enough information for the violation to be actionable.
    • Be specific to violations occurring on properties in unincorporated King County.
    • Be tracked by the department for reporting purposes.

 

  • Establishing the procedures for issuing warnings and citations for violations, specifically that:

 

    • A warning will be issued for the first complaint against the person, and a citation will be issued for the second complaint.
    • Warnings/citations can be revoked or modified by the director if there is an error.
    • The director’s decision on contested warnings/citations is appealable to the hearing examiner.
    • Warnings/citations must tracked by the department for reporting purposes.

 

To read a draft of the Proposed Fireworks Enforcement Ordinance, as well as a plain language summary of the proposed changes, visit Permitting’s Legislation for public review and comment page.

 

Submit a comment

Comments may be submitted via the following methods:

 

  • Postal mail: Robin Proebsting, King County Permitting Division, 35030 SE Douglas St. Suite 210, Snoqualmie, WA 98065-9266
  • Voicemail: 206-263-3000
  • E-mail: permittinglegislation@kingcounty.gov

 

 

QUOTES

  • King County Fire Marshal Chris Ricketts: “Now that the County Council has made the decision to ban consumer fireworks in the unincorporated areas, it’s just as important that we establish an enforcement system that is fair and effective. From the start, our priority has been to educate the public about these new rules, and these amendments reflect that approach. It’s also as equally important that we hear from the community.”

 

LINKS

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Brent Champaco, Local Services, 206-477-9094,
brent.champaco@kingcounty.gov