In August 2013, the Buda City Council approved City Ordinance No. 2013-18 that restricts the sale and possession of fireworks within the City of Buda and 5,000 feet outside of the city limits. The City of Buda finds the sale and detonation of fireworks, when not appropriately regulated, represents a threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the public. This ordinance was discussed at multiple public meetings and has been covered by local media. The City of Buda also places signs throughout the city limits and the ETJ to warn residents of the ban of the use of fireworks and had minimum use of fireworks during the New Year holiday.
Brian Foley, the organizer and representative of a fireworks show for Coves of Cimarron, requested a permit from Emergency Service District #8 Fire Marshall Mike Duffy before the event. The Fire Marshall told Foley that there was not a permitting process to allow fireworks and that the City of Buda had an ordinance that banned the sale or use of fireworks within the city limits of Buda and 5,000 feet outside the city limits.
Further, representatives of the group then contacted the City of Buda early in the week of July 4 to request a variance to allow the Coves of Cimarron to shoot fireworks. They were told not to shoot fireworks due to the existing city ordinance that made the use of fireworks inside and 5,000 feet outside the Buda city limits illegal.
Additionally, Mr. Foley was invited to attend the July 1 City Council meeting and make a public comment regarding the issue of firework use in the ETJ. He stated that he would both attend and make a public comment, but he was not present at the City Council meeting.
The City of Buda had made it quite clear to representatives before the event as to the intent of the city ordinance, which is to protect the welfare and property of the public, and that the use of fireworks is illegal and would not be allowed, but they did so in blatant disregard for the law.
Then on the evening of July 4, 2014, the City of Buda Police Department responded to multiple complaints regarding fireworks usage at the Coves of Cimarron, a subdivision in the City of Buda’s extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ). However, no arrests were made.
As previously mentioned, Buda City Ordinance restricts the sale, use and detonation/explosion of fireworks within city limits and 5,000 feet outside of city limits. This is a common regulation that has been adopted by the City of Austin, the City of Kyle, the City of San Marcos and other cities statewide. The sale, use, detonation and/or explosion of any type or variety of fireworks constitute a common and public nuisance and such finding has been recognized by Texas courts.
The City of Buda’s goals in enacting this ordinance are to limit threats that pose health/safety hazards and to protect the general welfare of all in the immediate boundaries of the city.
For more information regarding the ban of the sale and use of fireworks inside the Buda City Limits and 5,000 feet outside the limits, please contact the City of Buda at 512-312-0084.