Chapter 7.20


7.20.010    Title.

7.20.020    Adoption of state law by reference.

7.20.030    Administrative authority.

7.20.040    Permit required – Retail sales of fireworks.

7.20.050    Fireworks stand defined.

7.20.060    Application for permits.

7.20.070    Fireworks stand requirements.

7.20.080    Inspections/permits.

7.20.090    Appeals.

7.20.100    Penalties.

7.20.110    Liability for damages.

7.20.120    Severability.

7.20.130    Conflict with other regulations.

7.20.010 Title.

This chapter may be cited as the “Cowlitz County Fireworks Ordinance.” [Ord. 02-091, § 1, 5-14-02.]

7.20.020 Adoption of state law by reference.

Chapter 70.77 RCW, the state fireworks law, as now adopted or hereafter amended, is hereby adopted and incorporated herein by this reference. [Ord. 02-091, § 2, 5-14-02.]

7.20.030 Administrative authority.

It shall be the responsibility of the Director of the Department of Building and Planning to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter. All authority vested in the Cowlitz County Board of Commissioners with respect to permits for the retail sale of Class C Common fireworks is hereby delegated to said Director. [Ord. 02-091, § 3, 5-14-02.]

7.20.040 Permit required – Retail sales of fireworks.

No person, firm, corporation, association, or other entity shall sell fireworks at retail in the unincorporated portion of Cowlitz County without first obtaining a permit therefor as provided in this chapter. [Ord. 02-091, § 4, 5-14-02.]

7.20.050 Fireworks stand defined.

The term “fireworks stand” or “stand” shall mean any location from which fireworks are sold at retail or proposed to be sold at retail. [Ord. 02-091, § 5, 5-14-02.]

7.20.060 Application for permits.

Every application for a permit for the sale at retail of Class C Common fireworks within the unincorporated area of Cowlitz County, Washington shall:

A. Be made to the Department of Building and Planning.

B. Be made no later than the tenth day of May for the July 4th selling period, and the tenth day of November for the New Year’s Eve selling period.

C. Be accompanied by a valid State Fireworks License.

D. Be in writing, signed by the applicant, or in the case of a corporation, a duly authorized officer thereof and contain the telephone number and address to which notice of the granting or denying of the application may be made.

E. Be accompanied by a signed statement from the property owner, when other than the applicant, stating permission is given to place the fireworks stand on the property.

F. Be accompanied by the application fee.

G. Describe the proposed location from which the fireworks will be sold, and include an accurate diagram showing the existing streets, property lines, buildings, other structures, parking areas, barrier lines and distances to each. [Ord. 02-091, § 6, 5-14-02.]

7.20.070 Fireworks stand requirements.

Fireworks stands shall be in compliance with the following minimum requirements:

A. Stand Location. Fireworks stands shall only be located on property (1) that is zoned or classified in the Comprehensive Plan for commercial, industrial, agricultural, or forestry-recreation uses, or (2) on which there is located a pre-existing non-conforming commercial or industrial use (other than a home occupation).

B. Stand Setbacks.

1. Minimum clearances for the location of a stand shall be:

a. Twenty feet from any structure to the back or side of the stand; and

b. Forty feet from any structure to the front of the stand; and

c. Five feet from a property line to the side or rear of the stand; and

d. Twenty feet from a property line to the front of a stand; and

e. One hundred feet from any area where flammable or combustible liquids, or propane, are stored, handled or dispensed.

2. Barricades or ropes shall be provided to prevent vehicles from coming within 20 feet of the stand.

3. No weeds, trash, or other combustible materials shall be allowed within 20 feet of the back and sides of the stand, and 40 feet of the front of the stand.

C. Parking. An off-street parking area shall be provided which shall have not less than 10 parking spaces located at least 20 feet from the stand.

D. Site Cleanup. Fireworks stands and all trash or other debris shall be removed from the site no later than July 15th for the Fourth of July selling period, and January 10th for the New Year’s Eve selling period. [Ord. 02-091, § 7, 5-14-02.]

7.20.080 Inspections/permits.

A. Inspections.

1. Site Inspection. Upon the receipt of an application for a fireworks stand permit, the Director of the Department of Building and Planning or the Director’s designee shall investigate the proposed site and determine if such location is suitable under Chapter 70.77 RCW, the regulations thereunder, and this chapter for the sale of fireworks. The Director thereafter shall issue a permit with or without conditions, or deny a permit.

2. Stand Inspection. Each stand shall be inspected and approved prior to the retailer receiving fireworks from the wholesaler.

3. Subsequent Inspections. Stands are subject to such inspections as are deemed necessary by the Director or the Director’s designee to insure continued compliance with this chapter. The Director or the Director’s designee shall have the right at any time to inspect any fireworks stand for which a permit is required hereunder.

B. Permits.

1. Application Fee. Each permit application shall be accompanied by the permit fee. Permit fees shall be set from time to time by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners.

2. Insurance. The applicant will, at the time of receipt of a permit, deliver to the Department of Building and Planning a certificate of insurance evidencing that the applicant is the named insured in a policy of liability insurance containing a minimum limit of $50,000/$500,000 for bodily injury liability for each person/occurrence, and $50,000 for property damage liability for each occurrence, and in which Cowlitz County is an additional insured.

3. Notification of Permit Approval/Denial. Applicants shall be notified by telephone or in writing through the regular mail service of the granting or denying of a permit. Such notification shall be made not later than June 10th for the Fourth of July selling period, and December 10th for the New Year’s Eve selling period.

4. Nontransferability of Permits. All permits shall be nontransferable and shall be limited to the location set forth in the permit. [Ord. 02-091, § 8, 5-14-02.]

7.20.090 Appeals.

Any applicant may appeal the denial of a permit by filing a written notice of appeal with the Department of Building and Planning. The notice of appeal must be filed within 10 days of the date of the decision being appealed. Appeals shall be decided by the Director of the Department of Building and Planning, who shall hold a hearing on an appeal within 30 days of the date the notice of appeal was filed. The fee for appeals shall be an amount equal to the permit fee. [Ord. 02-091, § 9, 5-14-02.]

7.20.100 Penalties.

Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter shall be grounds for ordering the immediate closure of the stand and/or revoking any permit issued hereunder. [Ord. 02-091, § 10, 5-14-02.]

7.20.110 Liability for damages.

This chapter shall not be construed to hold Cowlitz County or any officer or employee thereof, responsible for any damages to persons or property by reason of certification, inspection, or non-inspection of any building, equipment or property. [Ord. 02-091, § 11, 5-14-02.]

7.20.120 Severability.

Should any section, clause or provision of this chapter be declared by a court to be invalid, the same shall not affect the validity of the remainder, either in whole or in part. [Ord. 02-091, § 12, 5-14-02.]

7.20.130 Conflict with other regulations.

Where other Cowlitz County ordinances, resolutions or regulations are in conflict with this chapter, the more restrictive regulation shall apply. [Ord. 02-091, § 13, 5-14-02.]