Outdoor Burning Ordinance
 

COLOMA CHARTER TOWNSHIP
BERRIEN COUNTY, MICHIGAN
ORDINANCE NO. 71

(OUTDOOR BURNING ORDINANCE)
ADOPTED: October 22, 2003
EFFECTIVE: November 29, 2003

An Ordinance to protect the health, safety and general welfare of the persons and property within Coloma Charter Township, Berrien County, Michigan, by regulating the burning of leaves, trash and any other combustible materials within the Township; to provide penalties for the violation thereof and to repeal all Ordinances or parts of Ordinances in conflict herewith.

THE CHARTER TOWNSHIP OF COLOMA
BERRIEN COUNTY, MICHIGAN

ORDAINS:

SECTION I
TITLE

This Ordinance shall be known and cited as the Coloma Charter Township Outdoor Burning Ordinance.

SECTION II
PURPOSE

The purpose of this Ordinance is to protect the people and property within Coloma Charter Township against health, safety, environmental and fire hazards caused by the burning near roads, streets, places, buildings and structures, both public and private; to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community by regulating methods of burning of materials; to encourage alternative methods of disposing of natural and biodegradable materials.

SECTION III
GENERAL PROHIBITIONS

All out-of-doors burning of material shall be prohibited, except as provided for in this Ordinance. No wood treated with creosote, wolmanized, pressure treated or otherwise painted or stained may be burned. Asphalt or fiberglass roofing material, tires, trash, garbage and other household or industrial refuse may not be burned.

SECTION IV
OPEN BURNING - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Except as provided elsewhere in this Ordinance, no open burning (defined as out-of-doors burning on the ground) shall be established or maintained unless in compliance with the following provisions:

  1. A permit for such burning has been issued pursuant to Section XI of this Ordinance.
  2. The burning shall be attended to at all times by a person of at least 16 years of age.
  3. Material shall be burned in manageable piles such that reasonable precautions are taken to avoid the escape thereof.
  4. Only paper, cardboard, dry leaves, brush and clean untreated lumber may be burned.
  5. The burning shall be at least fifteen feet (15’) from the traveled portion of any road.
  6. The burning shall be at least twenty-five feet (25’) from any structure including, but not limited to, fencing, wood piles, sheds, outbuildings, and utility poles.
  7. No burning shall be permitted within one thousand feet (1,000’) of a school while it is in session until after 4:00 p.m.
  8. The burning shall be at least five feet (5’) from any public or private property lines.
  9. The burning shall be prohibited within a 24-hour period preceding and during any Halloween Trick-or-Treat hours established by the Township Board.
  10. The burning shall be prohibited if it is determined by the Township Fire Chief or his/her designee that conditions are such that burning would be hazardous to the health, safety and general welfare of persons or property in the community. Any person who refuses to extinguish open burning after being informed by a Township fire fighter, police officer or other Township officer or employee of this determination shall be in violation of this Ordinance.
  11. Ash or waste from any fire shall not be deposited in the storm gutters adjoining or within the public streets and highways within the Township.

SECTION V
PROVISIONS FOR LEAF BURNING

No out-of-doors burning of leaves shall be conducted unless in compliance with the following provisions:

  1. No burning permit is required for such burning.
  2. The burning shall be attended to at all times by a person of at least 16 years of age.
  3. The leaves shall be burned in manageable piles such that reasonable precautions are taken to avoid the escape thereof.
  4. Only dry leaves may be burned.
  5. The burning of leaves shall only be allowed from September 1st through May 15th of the following year or such additional period as the Township Board shall deem necessary.
  6. The burning shall commence after sunrise.
  7. The burning shall not be located on the traveled portion of any road.
  8. The burning shall be at least fifteen feet (15’) from any structure including, but not limited to, fencing, wood piles, sheds, outbuildings and utility poles.
  9. No burning shall be permitted within one thousand feet (1,000’) of a school while it is in session until after 4:00 p.m.
  10. The burning shall be at least five feet (5’) from any public or private property lines.
  11. The burning shall be prohibited within a 24-hour period preceding and during any Halloween Trick-or-Treat hours established by the Township Board.
  12. The burning shall be prohibited if it is determined by the Township Fire Chief or his/her designee that conditions are such that burning would be hazardous to the health, safety and general welfare of persons or property in the community. Any person who refuses to extinguish a fire burning leaves after being informed by a Township fire fighter, police officer or other Township officer or employee of this determination shall be in violation of this Ordinance.
  13. Ash or waste from any such fire shall not be deposited in the storm gutters adjoining or within the public streets and highways within the Township.

SECTION VI
OPEN BURNING FOR PURPOSES OF CLEARING LOTS AND/OR AGRICULTURAL USE

All open burning conducted for the purpose of the clearing of lots and/or agricultural use shall be subject to the following restrictions:

  1. A permit for such burning has been issued pursuant to Section XI of this Ordinance.
  2. The burning shall be attended to at all times by a person of at least 16 years of age.
  3. Material shall be burned in manageable piles such that reasonable precautions have been taken to avoid the escape thereof.
  4. The burning shall be allowed year round.
  5. Only paper, cardboard, dry leaves, brush and clean untreated lumber may be burned.  
  6. The burning shall be at least fifteen feet (15’) from the edge of the traveled portion of any road.   
  7. The burning shall be at least twenty-five feet (25’) from any structure including, but not limited to, fencing, wood piles, sheds, outbuildings and utility poles.   
  8. No burning shall be permitted within one thousand feet (1,000’) of a school while it is in session until after 4:00 p.m.
  9. The burning shall be at least five feet (5’) from any public or private property lines.
  10. The burning shall be prohibited within a 24-hour period preceding and during any Halloween Trick-or-Treat hours established by the Township Board.
  11. The burning shall be prohibited if it is determined by the Township Fire Chief or his/her designee that conditions are such that burning would be hazardous to the health, safety and general welfare of persons or property in the community. Any person who refuses to extinguish such a fire after being informed by a Township fire fighter, police officer or other Township officer or employee of this determination shall be in violation of this Ordinance.
  12. Ash or waste from any fire shall not be deposited in the storm gutters adjoining or within the public streets and highways within the Township.

SECTION VII
RECREATIONAL BONFIRES

All recreational bonfires, defined as any open burning conducted for recreational purposes and consisting of a fire greater than forty-eight inches (48”) in diameter, shall be conducted in compliance with the following provisions:

  1. It shall only be allowed is a permit for such burning has been issued pursuant to Section XI of this Ordinance.
  2. The burning shall be attended to at all times by a person of at least 16 years of age.
  3. Burning shall be allowed year round.
  4. Material shall be burned in manageable piles such that reasonable precautions have been taken to avoid the escape thereof 0
  5. Only paper, cardboard, firewood, dry leaves, brush, and clean untreated lumber may be burned.
  6. The burning shall be at least fifteen feet (15’) from the edge of the traveled portion of any road.
  7. The burning shall be at least twenty-five feet (25’) from any structure including, but not limited to, fencing, wood piles, sheds, outbuildings utility poles.
  8. The burning shall be at least five feet (5’) from any public or private property lines.
  9. The burning shall be prohibited if it is determined by the Township Fire Chief or his/her designee that conditions are such that burning would be hazardous to the health, safety and general welfare of persons or property in the community. Any person who refuses to extinguish a bonfire after being informed by a Township fire fighter, police officer or other Township officer or employee of this determination shall be in violation of this Ordinance.
  10. Ash or waste from any fire shall not be deposited in the storm gutters adjoining or within the public streets and highways within the Township.

SECTION VIII   
FIRE PITS, CAMPFIRES AND PATIO FIREPLACES

Out-of-doors burning in fire pits, patio fireplaces and campfires shall be conducted in compliance with the following provisions:

  1. No permit shall be required to conduct such a burning. 
  2. Such burning shall not be larger than forty-eight inches (48”) in diameter. (See Section VII, Recreational Bonfires for regulations pertaining to recreational open burning exceeding 48” in diameter).
  3. Campfires may be built directly on the ground.
  4. There shall be a minimum area of thirty-six inches (36”) cleared of all burnable materials outside of the fire ring.
  5. Such burning shall use only seasoned firewood, paper, cardboard, dry leaves, brush, and clean untreated lumber and shall not extend outside the fire pit, campfire or patio fireplace.
  6. The burning shall be supervised at all times by a person of at least 16 years of age and shall be extinguished upon completion of the event or activity.
  7. Such burning shall be allowed year round.

SECTION IX
FIREWORKS

All requests for fireworks and displays of fireworks shall be subject to Michigan State Police Fire Marshall Bulletin #12 and all revisions thereto.

SECTION X
PERMITS

Burning that requires a permit hereunder will be allowed only after a permit has been issued by the Township Fire Chief or such other person(s) as are authorized to issue such permits by resolution of the Coloma Charter Township Board.

SECTION XI
SANCTIONS

Any violation of this Ordinance shall be deemed to be a municipal civil infraction as defined by Michigan Statute which shall be punishable by a civil fine determined in accordance with the following schedule:

                                                                                                                                Minimum                            Maximum
                                                                                                                                    Fine                                    Fine

        1st Offense within 3-year period*                                                                       $  75.00                              $ 500.00        
2nd Offense within 3-year period*                                                                      $ 150.00                              $ 500.00
3rd Offense within 3-year period*                                                                       $ 325.00                             $ 500.00
4th or More Offense                                                                                              $ 500.00                             $ 500.00
    within 3-year period*

* Determined on the basis of the date of commission of the offense(s).

Additionally, the violator shall pay costs, which may include all expenses, direct and indirect, to which Coloma Charter Township has been put in connection with the municipal civil infraction. In no case, however, shall costs of less than $9 nor more than $500 be ordered. In addition, the Township shall have the right to proceed in any court of competent jurisdiction for the purpose of obtaining an injunction, restraining order, or other appropriate remedy to compel compliance with this Ordinance. Each day that a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense.

SECTION XII
ADMINISTRATIVE LIABILITY

No Township officer, agent, appointee, contractor employee, or member of the Township Board, shall be personally liable for any damage that may accrue to any person as a result of any act, decision or other consequence or occurrence arising out of the discharge of duties and responsibilities pursuant to this Ordinance.

SECTION XIII
SEVERABILITY

This Ordinance and the various parts, sections, subsections, sentences, phrases and clauses hereof are declared to be severable. If any part, section, subsection, sentence, phrase or clause is adjudged unconstitutional or invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected thereby.

SECTION XIV
REPEAL

All Ordinances or parts of Ordinances in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.

SECTION XV
EFFECTIVE DATE

This Ordinance shall take effect November 29, 2003.

Nancy Baiers, Clerk
Charter Township of Coloma