City of University Place asks voters to weigh in on fireworks

On July 17, 2017, the University Place City Council adopted Resolution 843, which calls for an advisory proposition to be included on the November general election ballot. The proposition asks voters whether the sale, possession and discharge of consumer fireworks should be prohibited within the City of University Place. Council’s passage of the resolution placing the advisory question on the ballot arises from years of debate within the community on the topic.

This conversation is not unique to our City. Many other jurisdictions have wrestled with this issue as well. Currently, the discharge of certain types of fireworks is allowed in U.P. However, the City has restricted the timeframe for their use to July 4th between 9 a.m. and midnight, and over the New Year’s holiday from 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 until 1 a.m. on Jan. 1. Some of our neighboring municipalities, such as Lakewood and Gig Harbor, have placed similar restrictions on fireworks. Other neighboring municipalities, such as Tacoma, Fircrest and Steilacoom, have outlawed the possession and use of fireworks all together. 

“Given the significant amount of public input we receive on the fireworks issue every year, Council has decided to seek guidance from voters through an advisory proposition,” said U.P. City Manager Steve Sugg. “We encourage everyone who feels strongly about this issue to make their opinion known by participating in November’s general election.” Council intends to discuss the results of the election and the future of fireworks in U.P. during a study session next year. Under State law, any change that would result in the banning of fireworks could not take effect until 2019.

If you have any questions about the advisory ballot measure, please feel free to email Eric Faison at efaison@CityofUP.com.