Town of Bethany Beach, DE
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Bethany Beach 5-16-2008 by Ord. No. 436 (Ch. 125 of the 1992 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Beach — See Ch. 223.
Fireworks — See Ch. 256.
Outdoor smoking — See Ch. 301.
Trailers and camping — See Ch. 309.
Brush and grass — See Ch. 440.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 475.
Solid waste — See Ch. 486.

§ 251-1 Open fires restricted.

A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to burn or set fire to any lot or land, vegetation, trash, refuse, waste, or other matter or thing unless the same be done in a container, incinerator, stove or fireplace used in a dwelling or building and which container, incinerator, store or fireplace is connected to a chimney or other device or constructed or equipped as to prevent the escaping of flames or sparks therefrom. Materials that can never be burned:
(1) 
Materials that are hazardous or toxic such as materials containing rubber, grease, asphalt or items made from petroleum, such as tires, auto parts, plastics or plastic-coated wire.
(2) 
Garbage, including wastes from food processing, handling, preparation, or consumption.
(3) 
Carcasses of dead animals.
B. 
In particular, a fire on the beach is expressly prohibited. Notwithstanding this provision, the Town Manager, in his or her reasonable discretion, is hereby authorized to issue a permit, with appropriate conditions, for an open burning on the beach. Requests for such permits shall be submitted to the Town Manager, in writing, no less than 14 days prior to the date for which the permit is requested.
C. 
Nothing herein shall be deemed to prohibit the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Department from burning off any structure, lot or lots or any collection of driftwood or debris within the Town at the request of the owner of the property or upon the request of the Town Manager or the Town Council of the Town of Bethany Beach. The Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Department shall inform the Town Manager prior to conducting any controlled burning related activities.

§ 251-2 Outdoor cooking.

A. 
Outdoors cooking over a fire contained in a device or structure designed for such use is permitted with the following conditions:
(1) 
Material used to make a cooking fire cannot include construction materials, trash or rubbish.
(2) 
All cooking devices must be in good working condition to prevent the possible spread of fire.
(3) 
For all multifamily dwellings more than one story in height, the use and/or storage of any propane or charcoal portable cooking device or any portable fireplaces is strictly prohibited above the first floor occupancy. The definition of a "multifamily dwelling" shall mean a single structure containing two or more dwelling units, whether such dwelling units are rented or owned as a condominium or other form of ownership.

§ 251-3 Recreational fires.

A. 
It is the intent of the Town of Bethany Beach that all citizens, property owners and renters shall have the opportunity to have recreational fires at single and multifamily dwellings, provided that such fires are in strict compliance with the restrictions relating to recreational fires. It is further the intent of the Town of Bethany Beach that the Police Department, the Fire Department and the Town Code Enforcement Officer shall strictly enforce these restrictions so as to insure that such fires do not compromise safety or annoy neighbors.
B. 
Portable fire pits, chimaeras, patio hearths, fire tables and other similar devices shall be elevated from the ground and shall be fabricated from steel, concrete or clay with a screening around the firebox. A permanent fire pit is dug into the ground surrounded by mesh wire screen and has a cover when not in use.
C. 
Recreational fire requirements/restrictions:
(1) 
The fire must be fueled by clean, seasoned firewood, natural gas or other clean-burning fuel, with emissions equal to or less than that created by seasoned firewood and all devices must be based upon a noncombustible surface.
(2) 
The fire's total fuel area can be no more than three feet in diameter and no higher than two feet. The fire can be deemed hazardous, even when within these parameters. No firewood shall extend outside the fire pit.
(3) 
All devices for recreational fires shall be at least 10 feet from any structure or combustible material.
(4) 
Each fire must be attended by at least one-person 18 years old or older when lighting the fire and at all times until the fire is completely extinguished.
(5) 
A fire extinguisher or water hose shall be readily accessible.
(6) 
No recreational fire shall be started or allowed to continue burning when the wind direction or wind speed will cause, smoke, embers or other burning materials to create a nuisance for neighboring property owners. The fire shall be completely extinguished immediately upon the complaint of any smoke or odor nuisance.
(7) 
Covers/screening for portable and permanent recreational fire devices shall be attached while being used.
(8) 
If a permanent fire pit is used, the construction and use of the fire pit shall, in addition to the above requirements, comply with the following requirements:
(a) 
The diameter of the pit shall not exceed three feet.
(b) 
The depth of the pit shall be one to two feet deep, domed by a mesh wire screen and shall be covered when not in use.
(c) 
The top of the rim of the pit shall be lined with rock, concrete, brick or steel, that is 12 inches wide all around the perimeter.

§ 251-4 Unrestricted open fire.

The following devices that involve an open fire may be used without restrictions as long as they are used in a safe manner and/or follow the recommended manufacturer's guidelines: The burning and/or use of: candles, lanterns, lamps, insect repellent torches, tiki-type torches, fireplaces, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, charcoal cookers, braziers, hibachis, barbecue grills, or any flammable liquid or liquefied gas fire stoves or similar devices maintained and used solely for the preparation of food on the premises of the owner or occupant.

§ 251-5 Violations and penalties. [1]

Any person found guilty of violating any provisions in this chapter shall, upon conviction, be fined according to the Schedule of Fines and Penalties as outlined in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, Penalties, of the Town Code, plus court costs, for each offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).