Kent City Council votes to ban fireworks beginning next year

KENT, Wash. -- The Kent City Council has passed an ordinance that would ban the possession, sale or use of fireworks within the city, starting in 2017.

According to the city, the one-year waiting period is intended to protect nonprofits and business organizations that purchased fireworks for fund-raising activities.

The city said public fireworks displays, like those at Lake Meridian Park on the Fourth of July, would still be allowed with a permit.

Last November, an advisory measure asking voters whether the council should ban fireworks passed 66.47 percent to 33.53 percent.

The city said that numerous residents complained about fireworks going off in their neighborhoods before, during and after the Fourth of July prompted the council to consider a ban and ask for the advisory vote.

The City Council voted Tuesday night for the ordinance banning fireworks.

Under the ordinance, most violations, including possession, unlawful discharge, failing to clean up firework litter, or a property owner who permits the use of fireworks, will constitute a civil infraction punishable by monetary fines.