New rules for fireworks this Fourth of July: Ann Arbor won't allow blasts after midnight
If you want to set off fireworks in Ann Arbor this Fourth of July, you'll have to do it sometime between 8 a.m. and midnight — no later — under new rules.
The City Council voted unanimously Monday night in favor of local ordinance changes sponsored by Council Members Sabra Briere, D-1st Ward, and Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward.
Alan Warren | For AnnArbor.com
In Snyder's absence, Lt. Gov. Brian Calley on Wednesday signed the legislation that allows local governments to prohibit the use of consumer fireworks between midnight and 8 a.m. on the day before, day of, and day after national holidays.
"This is a common-sense bill that respects the preferences of communities by letting local authorities decide when fireworks can and cannot be used," Calley said.
The council-approved ordinance mimics changed state law and places new limits on the use of consumer fireworks such as Roman candles, bottle rockets and firecrackers.
Late-night blasts could lead to $500 fines.
Briere said Ann Arbor officials received several complaints from residents last year around July 4 after a new state law adopted by the Legislature allowed fireworks previously illegal in Michigan.
"We started getting the complaints from our neighbors about the loud noises that had kept them awake all night, about the firecrackers and rockets that were found in their yard the next day, about their fear of property damage," she said.
"I don't know that we had a lot of complaints, but we had some really dramatic ones," she said. "And we had them because the state had changed the law and allowed individuals to possess more exciting fireworks and use them on the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday."
Briere said it's important to keep in mind it's still only legal to set off fireworks on the day before, the day of, and the day after a national holiday.
"On those three days, you can set off fireworks," she said Monday night. "And if the state law changes as we anticipate, you will be able to set those fireworks off anytime between 8 a.m. and midnight with the sole exception of New Year's Day, where you can set fireworks off between midnight and 1 a.m."
Mayor John Hieftje said he's glad to see those changes.
"I'm quite happy that you can't set them off at 7 a.m. on New Year's Day," he said, drawing chuckles and agreement from fellow council members.
House Bill 4743, sponsored by state Rep. Harold Haugh, D-Roseville, also guarantees all of the fees that vendors pay for fireworks safety go toward local firefighter training programs.
The measure is now Public Act 65 of 2013.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.