After dealing with complaints dating back at least to last summer, the city of Smyrna is now requiring a “special use fireworks permit” and subjecting fireworks to the city’s noise ordinance for anyone who wants to shoot them off on non-holidays.
With the notable exceptions of the last Saturday and Sunday in May (Memorial Day), July 3 and 4, the first Monday in September (Labor Day), Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, fireworks fanatics will need to get a permit from the fire marshall and pay a processing fee before lighting up the night.
Even then, fireworks are now subject to the city’s noise ordinance with the exception of the above dates, and violators could be fined up to once a day for refusing to comply.
The measure passed 7-0 with almost no discussion during Monday night’s Smyrna city council meeting.
“Recently, the Georgia legislature amended state laws to give local governments more authority over consumer fireworks in certain circumstances,” City Administrator Joe Bennett said, reading from the agenda item. “In an effort to take advantage of this state law, the city is amending its applicable ordinances.”
City councilman Tim Gould said fireworks are “an issue that we hear a lot about” and that he’s glad the council is taking action.
The Georgia General Assembly made fireworks legal in 2015 and has tweaked the law several times since. Gwinnett County is also considering a fireworks-related noise ordinance that could pass later this month.
Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton said last summer that the city was working to “put as many restrictions as we can” on fireworks, especially due to the city having one of the highest population densities in Georgia.
Haisten Willis is a freelance writer who lives in Smyrna with his wife, daughter and dog. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from California State University, Fresno, serves on the board of SPJ Georgia and even rides a bike when time allows.