Airway Heights amends firework stands code
Vendors who operate firework stands in Airway Heights will have less difficulty acquiring a permit to set up shop.
The City Council approved an ordinance that amended the Airway Heights municipal code, chapter 17 section 11 to establish seasonal sales in general commercial zones (C-2).
Prior to the amendment, firework vendors had to apply for a conditional use permit (CUP).
To acquire a CUP, vendors must pay the appropriate fees as well as submit a completed general land use permit, proof of ownership, a site plan consistent with the city’s municipal code, a CUP supplemental information form and a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) checklist.
Development Services director Derrick Braaten explained that firework stands must also acquire an additional permit from the Fire Department for health and safety reasons.
“The conditional use permit process can take up to six months and cost up to an excess of $700 in preparation fees and charges,” Braaten said. “It’s an inconvenience for firework vendors who only get to operate their stands 3-4 days before the Fourth of July.”
To obtain a temporary use permit, vendors need to submit the same documents, except the supplemental information form and the SEPA checklist. Temporary permits cost $30 and vendors have to apply for their permits 45 days in advance. The city can use this process to review the siting of a fireworks stand, making it less expensive and less time consuming for vendors to set up shop.
In addition to allowing firework stands to use the TUP process, the amendment requires vendors who sell goods in Airway Heights in C-2 zones are required to have temporary permits to operate their stands.
The amendment clarifies vendors about the requirements for operating a stand they need, including a business permit from the city.
“The city also needs to determine that the products the merchants are selling are safe and that they have adequate anchoring,” Braaten said.
Braaten explained that one of the reasons for the change are the vendors who operate stands along Highway 2.
Some examples of seasonal uses include produce stands, Christmas tree lots and pumpkin patches. No permitted use under a TUP may be in place for longer than 30 days within a 365-day year period.
Yard sales and fundraisers on private property do not require temporary use permits as long as it does not last more than three days. Funeral processions, groups required to meet by law to be so assembled and other events deemed by the city planner do not require a permit.
Braaten said the city plans on enforcing regulations to make sure vendors have the proper paperwork and safety regulations.
“With the increase of traffic along the highway, safety is one of the city’s main concerns,” Braaten said. “If a vendor causes an accident, they’ll potentially be liable. It’s important we keep accidents from happening.”
Al Stover can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.