Fireworks get a holiday under city code revision
Council gives thumbs up to changes in second reading of updated rules
There were no sparks Monday night when the Valdez City Council approved updates and revisions to the Peace and Welfare section of the municipal code, which includes a section that allows private citizens to use fireworks around specified holidays.
The new section of Title 9 of municipal code states: Use of fireworks is permitted from 10:00 p.m. on July 3rd to 11:59 pm on July 4th, and from 10:00 p.m. on December 31st to 11:59 pm on January 1st of each year subject to provisions of Section 8.20.050 of the Valdez Municipal Code. The chief of police may revoke permission whether expressly given or implied under this provision where the health and safety of a person may be endangered.
The new provision replaces a blanket ban on the possession and use of fireworks previously written into the code.
According to the city clerk’s office, periodic updates to the municipal code are needed to keep it compliance with state laws and current court rulings.
Other changes in this section of the code included a new provision governing photographing or obtaining video of people without consent.
Section 9.12.080, among other changes, now says:
2. It is unlawful for any person to use any camera, videotape, photo-optical, photoelectric or any other image recording device for the purpose of secretly photographing, filming, or videotaping a person present in a dwelling or other building, if that person:
a. Is in a private area out of public view; or
b. Has a reasonable expectation of privacy; or
c. Has not consented to the observation.
Other updates include but was not limited to: revisions to the curfew for minors and defined mooning – exposing one’s buttocks in public – in the expansion of the disorderly conduct section.
Other updates to the code moved large sections of the Title 9 to Title 8, Health and Safety.
“Section 9.20.010, 9.20.020 and 9.24.070) will be moved to Title 8 – Health and Safety,” the agenda statement supporting approval of the code revision said. “These sections are health and safety regulations which would be more appropriately addressed under Title 8.”
Violations of the city’s municipal code are civil offenses which can net fines to violators.
Revisions to the code are an ongoing project in the city clerk’s office.
“The City Clerk has worked in partnership with the city attorney’s office in the research and development of appropriate code language,” the agenda statement says. “Due to the subject matter addressed in Title 9, a very careful review of prior court rulings and constitutionality issues was performed prior to recommending the amendments in this ordinance.”