City of Colton approves increased fines for illegal firework use

Courtesy photo: The amended ordinance for use of illegal fireworks states persons in violation will be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor.
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Come this summer, residents residing in Colton will see an increase in fines for the use of illegal fireworks.

On March 2, Colton City Council approved to amend the amount offenders pay in fines on first offense from $1,500 to $3,000, and second offense fine has been raised to $5,000.

The changes were also followed by another amendment to its current ordinance in regard to the location of the fireworks stands, to improve fire safety in the city.

“The stands must be on private property located in a commercial or industrial zone; and the written permission of the owner or lessee must accompany the application. However, firework stands will not be located within a quarter mile of the high fire hazard zones at the intersection of South Cooley Drive and Barton Road or within one mile of the high fire hazard zone at the intersection of Maryknoll Drive and South La Cadena Drive,” said Fire Chief Tim McHargue.

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Although this item passed in the City Council’s consent calendar, it garnered a 5-1 vote, with Councilman Dr. G. dissenting.

“I’d much rather take up the philosophy of enforcement, rather than deterring people of illegal fireworks use by increasing the dollar amount in fines…because it’s not being enforced,” said Dr. G.

He also went on to share that he believes solving the nuisance of illegal fireworks boils down to enforcement in the city.

“We had a lot of illegal fireworks use last year causing noise late at night and even fires, but our city didn’t seem to give out any tickets. It heavily reduces the validity of our word when we have an ordinance residents are supposed to abide by, but do nothing when that ordinance is violated,” concluded Dr. G.

As of March 8, there is no word on a set date as to when the amendment to Chapter 6.32 Colton Municipal Code will take effect.

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