New Limitations on City and County Regulation of Fireworks Sales - Effective Immediately
Changes to Extraterritorial Zoning Administration - Effective July 1, 2022
By Attorneys Maria Brownell, Kristine Stone, and Logan Brundage
On April 21, 2022, Governor Reynolds signed Senate File 2285 into law, which restricts city and county regulatory authority over the sale of fireworks. Prior to 2017, the sale of fireworks in Iowa was illegal. Senate File 489 and House File 295, both enacted in 2017, legalized the sale of consumer fireworks subject to a license issued by the state fire marshal. Under the 2017 law, cities and counties could regulate the location of fireworks sales pursuant to their respective zoning authority. The new provisions in Senate File 2285, which are effective immediately, prevent cities and counties in Iowa from enacting or enforcing local zoning restrictions on the location of permanent buildings or temporary structures within commercial or industrial zoning districts used for the sale of consumer fireworks.
Specifically, the bill adds a new section 335.2A and a new paragraph to section 414.1(1) to the Iowa Code. Iowa Code section 335.2A provides:
A county shall not adopt or enforce any ordinance under this chapter to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the location of permanent buildings or temporary structures used for the sale of consumer fireworks pursuant to section 100.19, in any location zoned for commercial or industrial purposes.
Similarly, new paragraph f under Iowa Code section 414.1(1), provides:
A city shall not adopt or enforce any regulation or restriction under this chapter to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the location of permanent buildings or temporary structures used for the sale of consumer fireworks pursuant to section 100.19, in any location zoned for commercial or industrial purposes.
Under existing law, fireworks may be sold annually from permanent buildings between June 1 and July 8 and between December 10 and January 3, and they may be sold annually from temporary structures between June 13 and July 8. The new law does not change regulatory authorities’ ability to restrict consumers’ use of fireworks within city limits by ordinance or resolution.
Additional Changes Effective July 1, 2022
The new bill also makes two other notable changes to city zoning administration under Iowa Code section 414.23 that are effective July 1, 2022. First, the bill changes the manner in which planning and zoning commission and board of adjustment membership is comprised for cities exercising extraterritorial zoning jurisdiction under Iowa Code section 414.23. Board of supervisor representatives on the commission or board must reside in the area outside the city limits over which the zoning jurisdiction is extended. In addition, at least one additional member of the planning and zoning commission and board of adjustment must own land actively used for agricultural purposes, unless there is no eligible and willing appointee who would meet the requirement.
Second, the new bill allows a city to request, but not require, property owners outside city limits subject to city zoning regulations provide consent to annexation as a condition of approval of zoning permits, subdivision, variances, or rezoning applications.
The new law is effective immediately with respect to fireworks regulations. The remaining provisions of the bill are effective on July 1. This client alert includes a general overview of this bill. Governmental entities should work closely with their legal counsel to ensure their zoning regulations comply with the new law.
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