MASON CITY — The Cerro Gordo County Board of Supervisors at their meeting earlier today passed on final consideration an amendment to the ordinance dealing with fireworks sales in the unincorporated areas of the county.

Two years ago, the supervisors approved an ordinance that restricted the sale of consumer-grade fireworks to industrial-zoned districts only, prohibited the sale of fireworks from temporary structures, and created a special fireworks sales permit.

County planning & zoning administrator John Robbins says the county needed to amend the ordinance to do away with the sales permit after a court ruling last year that said local governments cannot require special permits for the sales of fireworks. “The major intent is just to be in line of the spirit of the state rules. There’s a case that was involved in the Des Moines Area last year that confirmed zoning authority for local jurisdictions. This just sort of outlined some of these changes that were trying to be in spirit of the state law with.”)

The amendment also contains some changes, including allowing fireworks tents in areas zoned as industrial in the unincorporated areas of the county.  The amendment also reverses the prohibition on the sale of fireworks from temporary structures, including tents; prohibit the sale of fireworks within any public right-of-way; amend the county zoning ordinance to exempt fireworks from the requirement for Board of Adjustment approval for the outdoor display of merchandise; requires any seller to be issued a zoning permit as any change of use would be required under the zoning ordinance and establishes a process for review; and maintains a requirement for inspection by the local fire chief and the zoning administrator after a zoning permit has been issued but before any sale of consumer fireworks takes place.

The supervisors unanimously passed the amendment on its first reading, and then voted to waive the second and final readings to allow the changes to be enacted.

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