Town of Cortlandt, NY
Westchester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt 3-16-1982 by Res. No. 113-82; amended in its entirety at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention — See Ch. 44.
Explosives and blasting — See Ch. 161.

§ 171-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FIREWORKS
Includes any combustible or explosive composition or any substance or combination of substances or article prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or an audible effect by combustion, explosion, deflagration or detonation. It shall also include blank cartridges, toy pistols, toy cannons, toy canes or toy guns in which explosives are used. It shall also include unmanned balloons which require fire underneath to be propelled. Firecrackers, torpedoes, skyrockets, roman candles, Dayglo bombs, sparklers or other fireworks of like construction shall also be included. Fireworks containing an explosive or flammable compound, tablets or other devices containing an explosive substance are included. The term "fireworks" shall not include model rockets and model rocket engines designed, sold and used for the purpose of propelling recoverable aircraft models. Further, it shall not include toy pistols, toy canes, toy guns or other devices in which paper and/or plastic caps are used which are manufactured in accordance with the United States Department of Transportation regulations. Each package containing toy paper and/or plastic caps offered for retail sale shall be labeled to indicate the maximum explosive content per cap.

§ 171-2 Permit required; authority to issue permits.

A. 
Except as provided by this chapter, no person, firm, copartnership or corporation shall maintain, offer for sale or use or explode any fireworks in the Town of Cortlandt, New York. A permit to maintain, sell or explode fireworks may be granted upon application to the Town of Cortlandt and after the approval of the appropriate officials of the Town of Cortlandt. Every display shall be handled by a competent operator licensed or certified as to competency by the Town of Cortlandt. A permit shall not be transferable.
B. 
Pursuant to § 405.00 of the Penal Law of the State of New York, the Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt designates as the permit authority the Cortlandt Town Board, and such Board may, after receipt of all appropriate reports and recommendations from the Director of Code Enforcement, the Chief of Police, the Chief of the local Fire Department and the Fire Advisory Board, issue the appropriate permit either unconditionally or with conditions for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Town of Cortlandt attached thereto.

§ 171-3 Bond.

The Town Board of the Town of Cortlandt shall require a bond from the licensee, in a sum as set by resolution of the Town Board from time to time, conditioned on compliance with the provisions of this chapter and the regulations of the Town of Cortlandt adopted hereunder, provided that no municipality shall be required to file such bond.

§ 171-4 Proof of financial responsibility.

Before a permit for a pyrotechnic display shall be issued, the person, firm or corporation making the application shall furnish proof of financial responsibility to satisfy claims for damages to property or personal injuries arising out of any act or omission on the part of such person, firm or corporation or any agent or employee thereof in such amount, character and form as the Town of Cortlandt determines to be necessary for the protection of the public.

§ 171-5 Residency requirement.

No permit shall be issued under the provisions of this chapter to a person, firm or corporation that is not a resident of the State of New York for conduct of a pyrotechnic display until such person, firm or corporation shall have appointed, in writing, a member of the bar of New York State and residing therein to be his or its attorney upon whom all process in any action or proceeding against him or it may be served.

§ 171-6 Exceptions.

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit any resident wholesaler, dealer or jobber to sell at wholesale such fireworks as are not herein prohibited or the sale of any kind of fireworks, provided that the same are to be shipped directly out of state in accordance with regulations of the United States Department of Transportation covering the transportation of explosives and other dangerous articles by motor, rail and water, or the use of fireworks by railroads or other transportation agencies for signal purposes or illumination or the sale or use of blank cartridges for a show or theater or for signal or ceremonial purposes in athletics or sports or for use by military organizations or the use of fireworks for agricultural purposes under conditions approved by the local authority.

§ 171-7 Confiscation by peace officers.

The Director of Code Enforcement or any other peace officer shall seize, take, remove or cause to be removed, at the expense of the owner, all stocks of fireworks or combustibles offered or exposed for sale, stored or held in violation of this chapter.

§ 171-8 Penalties for offenses.

Any person, firm, copartnership or corporation violating the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not to exceed two hundred fifty dollars ($250.) or up to fifteen (15) days in jail or by a civil penalty not to exceed three thousand dollars ($3,000.). Each day's violation of any aspect of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 171-9 Conflicts with other provisions.

The provisions of this chapter are covered by Penal Law § 405.00 et seq., and, in the event of any inconsistent provisions between this chapter and Penal Law § 405.00, the provisions of § 405.00 are deemed to be incorporated herein and will control.

§ 171-10 Permit application.

A. 
Application for permit to operate a display of fireworks in conformance with the terms of this chapter shall be made, in writing, on forms provided by the office of the Director of Code Enforcement of the Town of Cortlandt and submitted with a fee as set by resolution of the Town Board from time to time.
B. 
Such application shall set forth:
(1) 
The name of the organization sponsoring the display, together with the names of persons actually in charge of the firing of the display and all parties authorized to participate.
(2) 
Evidence of financial responsibility.
(3) 
The date and times of day at which the displays are to be held or alternate date and time in case of inclement weather.
(4) 
The exact location planned for display.
(5) 
A description setting forth the age, experience and physical characteristics of the persons who are to do the actual discharging of the fireworks.
(6) 
The number and kinds of fireworks to be discharged.
(7) 
The manner and place of storage of such fireworks prior to and after the display, when within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Town of Cortlandt.
(8) 
How and when such fireworks are to be transported to site.
(9) 
A diagram of the grounds on which the display is to be held, showing the point at which the fireworks are to be discharged, the location of all buildings, highways and other lines of communication, the lines behind which the audience will be restrained and the location of all nearby trees, telegraph or telephone lines or other overhead obstruction and vehicles.
C. 
Upon receipt of such application, at least ninety (90) days in advance of the date set for this display, the Director of Code Enforcement and the Chief of the Fire Department in whose district the display will be held shall make or cause to be made an investigation of the site of the proposed display for the purpose of determining whether the provisions of these regulations are complied with in the case of the particular display. They shall confer with the Chief of Police about the application and whether the issuance of a permit would be consistent with public safety. Being satisfied that the display is properly lawful, the Director of Code Enforcement shall endorse the application, stating that he approves the display as being in conformance with all parts of the law and with these regulations. Such application shall then be forwarded to the Fire Advisory Board for review and subsequent action.
D. 
The application, following the endorsement by the Director of Code Enforcement shall, after review by the Fire Advisory Board, be sent to the Supervisor. The Supervisor, with the recommendations and review by the Director of Code Enforcement and the Fire Advisory Board and upon receipt of evidence of financial responsibility, including a bond from the licensee in a sum as set by resolution of the Town Board from time to time, will confer with the Town Board. The Town Board may then issue a nontransferable permit, either unconditionally or with appropriate conditions attached thereto, to authorize the display.

§ 171-11 Display restrictions.

A. 
No permit shall be granted for any display of fireworks where the discharge, failure to fire, faulty firing or fallout of any fireworks or other objects would endanger persons, buildings, structures, forests or brush, or in any case where the point at which the fireworks are to be fired is less than two hundred (200) feet from the nearest permanent building, public highway, railroad and other means of travel or fifty (50) feet from the nearest aboveground telephone or telegraph line, tree or other overhead obstruction. In no case shall a display be fired within five hundred (500) feet of a school, theater, church, hospital or similar institution.
B. 
Spectators at a display of fireworks shall be restrained behind lines as designated by local authorities, but in no case less than five hundred (500) feet from the point at which the fireworks are to be discharged. Only authorized persons assigned by the Director of Code Enforcement and those in actual charge of the display shall be allowed inside these lines or barriers during the unloading, preparation or firing of fireworks.
C. 
All fireworks that fire a projectile shall be so set up that the projectile will go into the air as nearly as possible in a vertical direction, provided that, where such fireworks are to be fired beside a lake or other large body of water, they may be directed in such a manner that the falling residue from the deflagration will fall into said body of water.
D. 
Any fireworks that remain unfired after the display is concluded shall be immediately disposed of or removed in a manner safe for the particular type of fireworks. The debris from the discharged fireworks shall be properly disposed of by the operator before he leaves the premises. The operator, upon the conclusion of the display, shall make a complete and thorough search for any unfired fireworks or pieces which have failed to fire or function and shall dispose of them in a safe manner. Such search shall be instituted at the earliest possible time following the conclusion of the display, but in no event later than the first period of daylight which follows.
E. 
No fireworks display shall be held during any windstorm in which the wind reaches a velocity of more than twenty (20) miles per hour.
F. 
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all fireworks articles and items at places of display shall be stored in a manner and in a place secure from fire, accidental discharge and theft and in a manner approved by the Director of Code Enforcement.

§ 171-12 Operator qualifications.

A. 
The person in actual charge of the firing of the fireworks in a display shall be able-bodied, at least twenty-one (21) years of age, competent for the task and so certified by the New York State Department of Labor, Division of Safety and Health, License and Certificate Unit. Such operator shall have his certificate of competency in his possession when engaged in conducting a display and shall exhibit the same on the request of any authorized person. Each person assisting the certified operator shall be able-bodied, at least twenty-one (21) years of age and capable of reading, writing, speaking and understanding the English language.
B. 
There shall be at all times no fewer than two (2) operators of the display constantly on duty during, prior to and after the discharge, at least one (1) of whom shall be a certified licensed pyrotechnist.

§ 171-13 Fire protection.

A. 
Fire-protection and fire-extinguishing equipment shall be provided by the permit holder as required by the Chief of the Fire Department having geographic jurisdiction.
B. 
The person to whom a permit has been issued shall arrange for the detailing of one (1) member of the local Fire Department or such larger number as may be deemed necessary by the Chief of the Fire Department. Fire Department personnel shall be on duty from the time the fireworks are delivered at the site until the termination of the display and the removal of all fireworks and debris from the site. The expense of such firemen shall be paid by the permittee.
C. 
All disputes arising as a result of the administration of these rules and regulations shall be referred to the Supervisor of the Town of Cortlandt for adjudication.
D. 
The Town of Cortlandt reserves the right to render all permits null and void upon any violation of these rules and regulations.