03-20-2012 PUblic Hearing

Dayton Planning Board

March 20, 2012

Public Hearing-Fireworks Sales and Use


Members Present: Remi Caron (Chair), Dick Hall, Dan Plourde, Valerie Cole (Alt)

Public:  Jim Roberts (CEO); Selectmen Ted Poirier, Mike Polakewich and Scott Littlefield; Roger Hooper (Fire Chief); Polly Plourde; Chad Johnston; Woody Brown; Millie Tuttle

Attachments: Draft proposal of fireworks ordinance, list of attendees


Hearing started at 7:12 PM. Members of the public were given a copy of the proposed ordinance. Remi Caron welcomed the public and explained that the purpose of the meeting is to review the proposed draft concerning the sales and use of fireworks in the Town of Dayton. This draft was developed with the assistance of Fire Chief Roger Hooper. The intent is to set parameters for the hours of use and sales. He then opened the hearing for comments.


Ted Poirier asked for the Board’s recommendations. Remi Caron read through the beginning of the draft. Mr. Poirier asked if the Board had set up any additional zones for sales: Jim Roberts explained that the proposal limits sales to the commercial zone along Routes 5 and 35.


Jim Roberts commented that this proposal follows the state statutes and suggested that the question put to vote should ask if residents approve an ordinance that follows the state statutes. Dick Hall noted that if the state statutes change, then Dayton’s would too. Remi Caron noted that the Planning Board modified the times of use as written in the state statute (PUBLIC Law, Chapter 416, LD 83, Sec. 1.8 MRSA §223-A.)


Jim Roberts suggested a change to the zoning ordinance to allow sales of fireworks within the commercial use zone and prohibiting it in other zones. He thought it would be simpler than creating an ordinance the town can't enforce. He noted again that the primary question to ask voters was whether or not to allow use.


Mike Polakewich asked if the Board had looked at ordinances in other municipalities. Remi Caron explained that the Board looked at Houlton and Augusta for examples and created the proposal under the advisement of the fire chief and with reference to the state statutes. Mr. Polakewich said that some large cities are banning use. Dick Hall noted that some cities are limiting the areas of use. Jim Roberts pointed out that not many ordinances are available on line.


Millie Tuttle commented that she is a member of the 12 Town Group: some of the towns with camps are allowing use. As a resident, she does not support the use of fireworks because she has concerns about her livestock spooking and about fires like that of ‘47.


Dick Hall felt this was an opportunity to try and if there are problems, fireworks can later be banned.

It was mentioned that this would also require a change in zoning to allow the sales in the commercial zone, which would require a public hearing.

Mr. Polakewich agreed with Jim Roberts that if this passes it would be necessary to come up with language that puts the onus on the sheriff’s department and the state police to enforce it, not the municipality. It has to be a violation of a state statute. It would also be necessary to relate it to the state fire marshal’s office as a provision of public safety so the sheriff and police can pull in violators. Dick Hall asked if it would need to be related to the state statute. Mr. Polakewich noted that the draft restricts the zone and the time of use.


Jim Roberts pointed out that if the town has a yes or no vote on this, then it should follow the state statute.

Scott Littlefield asked if this is a referendum question: Jim replied that it probably is.

Mr. Polakewich noted there are three parts to this: a yes or no vote to allow sales, a yes or no vote to allow use, and an ordinance change.


Mr. Poirier asked about manufacturing. Jim Roberts explained it isn’t allowed in Maine.


Dick Hall asked how quickly things must happen to change the zoning. Jim Roberts said it could be denied on the basis of public safety. Mr. Polakewich thought it might be a difficult argument in light of the state provisions and though it might be better to set a moratorium. Jim will work on an ordinance change proposal tomorrow. Dick Hall noted again it should reference the state statute.


Chief Hooper expressed concern about people storing fireworks in large quantities for sales. If the state law is quoted, that would address his concerns. It was noted that a fireworks store in Sanford would probably saturate the area.


Remi Caron summarized the meeting: there is a proposition to add  a three-part question to town meeting regarding the sale of fireworks according to state statutes, use according to state statute, and a potentially a zoning change which could, however, be addressed with a moratorium. The Planning Board will put together a proposal for the selectmen to add to the next town meeting.


Mr. Polakewich noted that if an application should come in, that is when the moratorium should be initiated. Once an application is looked at by Planning Board, that is considered a substantial review and the moratorium won't be able to be put in effect. It would have to start with Jim Roberts.


Woody Brown asked why the town isn’t setting a moratorium now. Mr. Polakewich noted that it could be taken up next Monday at the Selectmen’s meeting: it could last for 180 days and then could be renewed.

Jim Roberts noted that it might be a good idea, but we have to be careful to not appear that there is a moratorium on everything.


The hearing adjourned at 7:32 PM and the audience left.


The Planning Board will send a letter to the Selectmen with the following:

Question 1: Do you wish to approve the sales, distribution, and storage of fireworks (as defined by Sec. 1.8 MRSA §221-A) in the Town of Dayton pursuant to state statutes (Sec. 5. 8 MRSA §223-A)?


Question 2: Do you wish to allow the use of fireworks (as defined by Sec. 1.8 MRSA §221-A) in the Town of Dayton pursuant to state statutes (Sec. 5. 8 MRSA §223-A)?


Planning Board members questioned Jim regarding the timeline for a public hearing on zoning changes: he explained that it can be done at town meeting so it would not be necessary to have a public hearing.


Members concluded the meeting at 7:45 PM.



Valerie J. Cole, Secretary



Remi Caron, Chair






Incorporated April 7, 1854


Selectman Ted Poirier

Selectman Mike Polakewich

Selectman Scott Littlefield



March 21, 2012


As a result of the public hearing on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, the Planning Board wishes to submit the following questions for consideration for a referendum vote:

Question 1: Do you wish to approve the sales, distribution, and storage of fireworks (as defined by Sec. 1.8 MRSA §221-A) in the Town of Dayton pursuant to state statutes (Sec. 5. 8 MRSA §223-A)?


Question 2: Do you wish to allow the use of fireworks (as defined by Sec. 1.8 MRSA §221-A) in the Town of Dayton pursuant to state statutes (Sec. 5. 8 MRSA §223-A)?


Thank you for your consideration in this matter.





Valerie Cole

Planning Board Secretary