Home Contra Costa County Oakley Set to Update Fireworks Ordinance and Increase Fines

Oakley Set to Update Fireworks Ordinance and Increase Fines

by ECT

On Tuesday, the Oakley City Council will consider enacting an Urgency Ordinance that would increase the penalties on fireworks and hold “social hosts” accountable for firework discharges.

Although the city does prohibit manufacturing, sale, use or discharge of fireworks within the city, its generally enforced through a citation procedure which ranges in $100 for first violation, $250 for second violation and $500 for third and additional violations.

However, due to enforcement being difficult even with education and outreach campaigns, police officers must identify the specific person who is responsible for the violation to properly cite—especially when large crowds gather and officers are unable to determine the specific person responsible for discharging fireworks.

The city now seeks to mimic other cities and amend its municipal codes to adopt a “social host” approach to enforcement of firework prohibitions. The goal is to not only to prohibit discharge of fireworks, but hold homeowners or tenants responsible for the activities occurring at the residence. Other cities have found greater compliance with fireworks.

If approved, the city would change its code language and implement a “social host” approach to enforcement.

The prohibition on manufacture, use, and discharge of fireworks would be continued, but liability for such activities would be expanded to include property owners, tenants, or others in control of residences who allow such activities to occur on their properties. Fines would also be increased to $1,000 per violation, even for first violations.

Oakley City Council Meeting

June 8, 2021 at 6:00 pm

How to Participate:

  • Telephone: You may participate via telephone by calling (669)900-9128and using Meeting ID#: 858 0900 5401. Please call or text (619)861-8193 with any difficulties with the call-in number or ID. The meeting host will call on you when it is your turn to speak. Please mute your phone until then.
  • E-mail: Public comments can be submitted until 5 p.m. the day of the meeting by completing an online comment form through the City’s website, https://www.ci.oakley.ca.us/agendas-minutes-videos-archive/.

Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to Finalize Countywide Ordinance

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors are set to finalize their countywide ordinance that they are encouraging other cities in the county to mimic. They aim ADOPT Ordinance No. 2021-19, regulating the possession, manufacture, sale, use, and discharge of fireworks in the unincorporated areas of the County.

The proposed ordinance would amend Chapter 44-2 and authorize the Sheriff to arrest and cite a responsible party, as defined in the ordinance, for violations of Chapter 44-2. The proposed ordinance establishes that a responsible party is required to maintain, manage, and supervise the property or vessel for which they are responsible to prevent violations of Chapter 44-2. A responsible party is liable and violates the prohibition on fireworks under Chapter 44-2 if any person possesses, manufactures, sells, offers to sell, uses, or discharges, any fireworks at the property, or on the vessel, for which the responsible party is responsible, regardless of whether the responsible party is present when the violation occurs.

The proposed ordinance defines a responsible party as any of the following:

  1. A person that owns, rents, leases, or otherwise has possession of, or is in immediate control of, a residence or other private property or a vessel.
  2. A person that organizes, supervises, sponsors, conducts, allows, controls, or controls access to, the possession, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, or discharge of fireworks at a residence or other private property or on a vessel.

If a residence or other private property is rented or leased for a period of more than 30 consecutive days, the landlord or lessor is not a responsible party unless the landlord or lessor: has possession of, or is in immediate control of, the residence or other private property; or has knowledge of the possession, manufacture, sale, offer for sale, use, or discharge of fireworks at the residence or other private property.

The owner of a residence that is rented for a period of 30 consecutive days or less (a short-term rental) is a responsible party and is liable for violations of Chapter 44-2 if the short-term renter, or any other person, possesses, manufactures, sells, offers to sell, uses, or discharges, any fireworks at the residence, regardless of whether the owner of the short-term rental is present when the violation occurs.   

Supervisor Diane Burgis has said she hoped other communities would adopt a similar ordinance regarding fireworks.

In May, they voted 5-0 to approve the ordinance.

For the full agenda for the Board of Supervisors, click here

You may also like

2 comments

Tax Payer Jun 5, 2021 - 8:43 pm

This will be fun. Who are you going to site when the Fireworks are being set off in a public street or court and a large group?

Reply
T-Rex Jun 6, 2021 - 7:37 pm

Great. Time for a block party. Good luck figuring out the social host.

Reply

Leave a Comment