In a surprise move, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to ban the sale of fireworks within the city limits.
The sale of so-called safe and sane fireworks to benefit local service groups has been legal here since 1979, when the City Council adopted an urgency ordinance to allow such activity. In a 1982 advisory vote, Signal Hill residents supported the sale of fireworks by a 2-to-1 margin. But while discussing whether to grant fireworks-sale permits to the seven local groups who requested them, the council decided to ban the sale of fireworks permanently instead.
Although officials from the Signal Hill Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club argued that banning fireworks sales only six weeks before the Fourth of July cuts heavily into their fund-raising efforts, the council voted to make the ban effective immediately.
"Our selling fireworks encourages the use of illegal fireworks," said Mayor Louis Dare.
In banning the sales, Signal Hill joins about 40 other cities in Los Angeles County, including Los Angeles and Long Beach.