[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners of Otero County 4-12-2018 by Ord. No. 18-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
STATE LAW REFERENCES
County ordinances — See NMSA 1978, § 4-37-1 et seq.
Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act– See NMSA 1978, § 60-2C-1 through 60-2C-11.
This chapter shall be known as the "Otero County Fireworks Safety and Use Ordinance."
This chapter is enacted pursuant to the authority granted to counties to provide for the safety and health of Otero County residents as set forth in NMSA 1978, § 4-37-1.
The provisions herein are held to include the minimum standards necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
This chapter is designed and executed to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the residents of the County of Otero.
The Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act, NMSA 1978, § 60-2C-1 through 60-2C-11, grants authority to the Board of County Commissioners to regulate and prohibit the sale or use of any aerial devices and ground audible devices.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- AFFECTED AREA
- Shall be described for the purposes of this chapter as "basin areas" and "mountain areas."
- BASIN AREAS
- Those parts of the County designated by the United States National Weather Service as in Fire Weather Zone 112, which are those parts of the County that are below 5,500 feet in elevation and includes the Tularosa Basin.
- The unincorporated areas of Otero County.
- MOUNTAIN AREAS
- Those parts of the County designated by the United States National Weather Service as in Fire Weather Zone 113, which are those parts of the County that are 5,500 feet or above in elevation and includes the Sacramento Mountains.
- PERMISSIBLE FIREWORKS or CONSUMER FIREWORKS
- Fireworks legal for sale to and use in New Mexico by the general public that comply with the latest construction, performance, composition, and labeling requirements established by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and the United States Department of Transportation. In the unincorporated areas of Otero County, "permissible fireworks" does not include aerial nor ground audible devices when restrictive conditions exist.
The terms defined in the Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act, NMSA 1978, § 60-2C-2, and not otherwise defined in this chapter shall have the same meanings when used in this chapter.
Civic or governmental organizations, public schools, amusement parks, or any other recognized individual or organization may sponsor or conduct an officially supervised public or private fireworks display after securing a permit under § 131-4.
The County of Otero shall be exempt from the application requirements of this section whenever it holds a public fireworks display on County property.
No person may sell, hold for sale, import, distribute or offer for sale, as manufacturer, distributor, wholesaler or retailer, any fireworks in the County unless such person has first obtained a permit.
An applicant for a permit to sell any fireworks or to conduct a pyrotechnic display in the parks or other open places shall complete an application on the form prescribed by the Board of County Commissioners and filed with the Director of Emergency Services.
Editor's Note: Said application form is included as an attachment to this chapter.
The application form shall require an applicant to provide:
The applicant's name;
The applicant's physical and mailing addresses;
The applicant's telephone number;
The applicant's e-mail address;
The applicant's tax identification number, if the applicant is a business entity;
Whether the applicant holds any state permits relating to fireworks and, if yes, the types, numbers, and expiration dates of those state permits; and
A description of the activity for which the permit is sought.
The failure of an applicant to fully and accurately complete the application form shall result in the denial or revocation of the permit.
The applicant shall be required to agree, as a condition to the granting of the Otero County permit, to comply with the provisions of the Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act, NMSA·1978, § 60-2C-1 through 60-2C-11, all Otero County ordinances and provide copies of all related licenses required for commercial solicitors.
The failure of an applicant to comply with any provision of the Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act or Otero County ordinances shall result in the denial or revocation of the permit.
Otero County permits shall be issued for a one-year term, the term beginning on February 1 of each year and expiring on January 31 of the following year.
Permits shall identify the location of the sales or display area by physical address for an individual location. Multiple locations are not permitted under a single permit.
Permits are not transferable.
There shall be no fee for the permit.
Retail sales and storage of fireworks shall be governed by the provisions of the Fireworks Licensing and Safety Act, NMSA 1978, § 60-2C-8.
Permissible fireworks may be sold at specialty retail stores:
Permissible fireworks may be sold all year in specialty retail stores whose primary business is tourism. Permissible fireworks consist of:
All aerial devices and ground audible devices are considered nonpermissible fireworks (restricted for use) in the Mountain Areas.
Restrictions for sale of fireworks shall be based on severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions based on current drought indices published by the National Weather Service, which can be found online at http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.
Restrictions for the use of fireworks shall be based on severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions, very high or extreme fire danger and any other relevant information supplied by the United States Forest Service Wildland Fire Assessment System, which can be found online at https://www.wfas.net/.
Pursuant to this chapter, the County may implement restrictions based on severe, extreme or exceptional drought conditions, very high or extreme fire danger within the County.
The restrictions shall describe the time they are in effect either by reference to certain dates or in reference to the persistence of certain drought conditions as announced by the National Weather Service or the United States Forest Service and may:
Limit the use within its jurisdiction of any fireworks not listed in § 131-5B(1) to areas that are paved or barren or that have a readily accessible source of water; or
Ban the use of all fireworks within wildlands in its jurisdiction, after consultation with the state forester; or
Ban or restrict the sale or use of display fireworks.
Otero County shall notify retail sales permit holders no less than 20 days prior to a holiday for which fireworks may be sold. The notice may be made by United States mail or e-mail.
Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, this chapter shall be effective as conditions warrant. Otero County may modify or rescind its restrictions if weather conditions have improved.
In addition to any other penalty or remedy provided by law, any person who violates this chapter shall be punished by a fine of up to $300 or imprisonment up to 90 days, or both fine and imprisonment. Each day on which this chapter is violated shall constitute a separate violation.
Otero County or any law enforcement agency, in addition to other remedies provided by law, may seek an injunction against anyone who uses fireworks in violation of this chapter. If the County is granted an injunction, it shall be entitled to recover attorney fees and court costs.
Pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 4-37-9C, this chapter shall take effect immediately after the enacting ordinance has been recorded in the book kept by the County for that purpose and authenticated by the signature of the County Clerk.