Residents within the City of Johnston may have noticed firework tents in retail C-2 and C-3 commercial zoning districts. In 2017, the Iowa legislature took action allowing the sale of consumer fireworks in Iowa from June 1 through July 8. With this legislative change, cities can no longer prohibit the sale of fireworks within their city limits. However, this law did allow cities to prohibit the use, which Johnston does.
City leaders have heard from residents and they do understand and hear your concerns. City staff reviews all requests for temporary fireworks stands for conformance with City requirements, including setbacks, impacts to parking, etc. Additionally, all tents are inspected by the Fire Marshall to ensure all are in compliance with State and local fire codes. To date, City staff have reviewed temporary stands to be located at 5935, 6005 and 6125 Merle Hay Road and 5440 NW 86th Street. Staff will continue to monitor and regulate the presence of firework stands in and around our community to the extent possible until July 8.
This year, the fourth of July falls on a weekday, but residents are reminded that discharging fireworks within city limits, is illegal. Novelty fireworks like sparklers and snakes are allowed. Disregarding the fireworks ordinance is a violation and is punishable by a fine up to a $500 per violation. (City Code Chapter 41.12)
If fireworks are illegally discharged on a private property, the property owner can be held responsible for sponsoring the gathering and associated fireworks activities. (City Code Chapter 40.07(1)(H))
For questions about Johnston’s fireworks ordinance, contact Fire Marshal Craig Ver Huel at 515-276-5182.