Township of Penn, PA
Lancaster County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 10-101 Short Title.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
This Part shall be known as the "Penn Township Burning Ordinance."

§ 10-102 Definitions.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1; as amended by Ord. 2015-08, 12/14/2015, § 1]
BONFIRE
A large fire exceeding six feet in diameter, whether contained or not within a fire pit, or fire ring, built in the open air for ceremonial or recreational purposes.
CONTAINED FIRE
A fire contained in an incinerator or non-combustible container covered with a mesh screen consisting of openings of 1/2 inch or smaller, or with other suitable non-combustible cover.
FARM
A tract of land containing 10 or more acres that is used for agricultural purposes on which agricultural activities provide the primary source of income for the residents of the tract.
GARBAGE
All putrescible animal and vegetable matter resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
INCINERATOR OR NON-COMBUSTIBLE CONTAINER
Any device specifically designed for the destruction by burning of any combustible material.
OPEN FIRE
A fire not contained in an incinerator or adequately covered noncombustible container.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, corporations department, bureau, agency or legal entity, and the members of such partnership or association and the officers of such corporation.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department or any successor entity whose primary jurisdiction includes the territorial limits of the Township.
POLICE OFFICER
Any member of the Police Department.
PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIREPLACE
A portable, outdoor, solid-fuel burning fireplace that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other non-combustible material. A portable outdoor fireplace may be open in design, or may be equipped with a small hearth opening and a short chimney or chimney opening in the top. For the purpose of this definition, a portable outdoor fireplace shall include outdoor patio stoves, chimineas, and other factory-built novelty stoves.
RECREATIONAL FIRE
An outdoor fire burning materials other than rubbish where the fuel being burned is not contained in an incinerator, outdoor fireplace, portable outdoor fireplace, barbeque grill or barbeque pit and which does not exceed three feet in diameter and two feet in height contained within a fire pit, or fire ring, built in the open air for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, cooking, warmth or similar purposes.
RESPONSIBLE ADULT
An individual 18 years or older who is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol or suffering from any other disability which would impair or impede his or her ability to properly supervise a fire.
RUBBISH
Solids not considered highly flammable or explosive.
SKY LANTERN
An unmanned airborne lantern that relies upon an open flame as a heat source to heat the air inside the lantern with the intention of causing it to lift into the atmosphere; also known as kongming lantern, whish lantern, sky candle, fire balloon, airborne paper lanterns, etc. Manned hot air balloons are not a part of this definition.

§ 10-103 General Regulations.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1; as amended by Ord. 2015-08, 12/14/2015, § 2]
1. 
The following shall apply to all burning whether contained or open regardless of purpose unless otherwise noted in this Part:
A. 
Burning is permitted Monday through Saturday from dawn to dusk. Burning shall be prohibited on Sunday.
B. 
All fires shall be attended to at all times by a responsible adult with readily available means of extinguishing the fire.
C. 
No fire shall be set within a property's front yard.
D. 
All fires shall be set back a minimum of 10 feet from side and rear property lines.
E. 
No fire shall be set, started, fed, permitted to burn or maintained where such fire, smoke, and/or by-products may interfere with the navigation of aircraft, or the safe travel upon any roadway or sidewalk.
F. 
All fires shall be extinguished thoroughly with no smoldering.
G. 
No fire shall be permitted to burn whenever drought or extreme weather conditions exist or when a ban on burning has been placed into effect by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or other competent governmental body. The Board of Supervisors may prohibit any and all fires when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous.
H. 
All fires regardless of purpose shall be prohibited from burning the following:
(1) 
Burning of common household garbage or rubbish. These items include, but are not limited to, rags, old clothes, leather, rubber, carpets, furniture, crockery, masonry, and other similar items.
(2) 
Burning of construction debris, Styrofoam, aerosol cans, by-products of manufacturing and processing operations and wastes from commercial and industrial operations is strictly prohibited.
(3) 
Burning of any material listed as a designated recyclable item under § 20-104, the "Penn Township Recycling Ordinance" [Chapter 20, Part 1]. These items include clear and colored glass, aluminum and steel cans, plastics, newsprint, tires and white goods. White goods are defined as large appliances weighing more than 50 pounds.
(4) 
Nothing herein shall be construed to permit or encourage the burning of any substance determined by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States Environmental Protection Agency to be a "hazardous substance"; nor shall any fire be permitted to burn by any persons if such burning is in violation of the Air Pollution Control Act, 35 P.S. § 4001 et seq., or other legislation by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or the United States of America or any of their legislative agencies.
(5) 
Fires shall be used only to burn readily combustible materials.
I. 
No person shall ignite, launch or otherwise release any sky lantern within the Township.

§ 10-104 Contained Fires.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
Contained fires shall not be permitted closer than 15 feet from any building, structure, and/or roadway with the exception of fires contained within properly operated cooking grills and barbecues and portable outdoor fireplaces. The use of cooking grills and barbecues and portable outdoor fireplaces shall be in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

§ 10-105 Open Fires.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
Open fires, other than recreational fires, shall not be permitted closer than 50 feet from any combustible material, building, structure, and/or roadway. Exception: The minimum required separation distance shall be 25 feet where the pile size is three feet or less in diameter and two feet or less in height. For open fires where the pile size is greater than three feet in diameter and greater than two feet in height, a responsible adult shall contact Lancaster County-Wide Communications' non-emergency dispatch prior to the commencement of the open fire.

§ 10-106 Bonfire and Recreational Fire Regulations.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
1. 
Bonfires and recreational fires shall be allowed to be kindled from dusk to dawn Sunday through Saturday provided that the following requirements are met:
A. 
All bonfires shall be located a minimum of 50 feet from any combustible material, building, structure, roadway, and/or property line. All recreational fires shall be located a minimum of 25 feet from any combustible material, building, structure, and/or roadway.
B. 
For bonfires only, proof of notification to the Fire Chief of the fire company providing fire service to the location of the bonfire shall be provided to the Township. The Township shall in turn issue a permit for the bonfire. A bonfire permit is valid for one bonfire only and the cost of said permit shall be set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors.

§ 10-107 Permit Required.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
1. 
A burning permit is required for all bonfires, applicable open fires, and all contained fires that occur at any time except as set forth in § 10-104. A burning permit is valid for one burn only and the cost of said permit shall be set by resolution of the Board of Supervisors. The following are exempt from permitting:
A. 
Contained fires set in accordance with §§ 10-103 and 10-104 of this Part.
B. 
Fires set for the purposes of disposing of crop residue, brush, woody debris, shrubs, trees, and other natural vegetation consistent with agricultural, horticultural, land conservation maintenance and management practices conducted on a farm within any zoning district, or a non-farm parcel over 10 acres, in the T-1 Natural District, T-2 Agricultural District, T-3 Suburban District, T-4 Village District, T-5R Residential TND District, D-2 Quarry District, and D-3 Industrial District that meet the requirements of §§ 10-103 and 10-105 of this Part.
C. 
Fires set that are consistent with accepted agricultural, horticultural, and forest management practices to control insects, diseases, and other pests conducted [on] a farm within any zoning district, or a non-farm parcel over 10 acres, in the T-1 Natural District, T-2 Agricultural District, T-3 Suburban District, T-4 Village District, T-5R Residential TND District, D-2 Quarry District, and D-3 Industrial District that meet the requirements of §§ 10-103 and 10-105 of this Part.
D. 
Fires set within a grill or barbecue used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions solely for the cooking of food.
E. 
Fires set within portable outdoor patio fireplaces used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.
F. 
Recreational fires that meet the requirements of §§ 10-103 and 10-106 of this Part.
G. 
Fires set for approved and permitted fire services training activities.

§ 10-108 Fire Ban Emergency.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
The Board of Supervisors may declare a fire ban emergency in the Township with or without consultation with the fire chiefs of the fire companies operating within the Township during period of drought, or other periods of high fire risk to woodlands or property within the Township. Upon the Board of Supervisors declaring a fire ban emergency, all outdoor burning or fires shall be prohibited until the Board of Supervisors lifts the ban. The Township shall publish a notice of the fire ban emergency at least once in a local newspaper of general circulation. In addition, the Township may issue news releases to all communication media, including radio, television and newspapers.

§ 10-109 Extinguishing Unsafe Fires.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
It is a violation of this Part for any person to allow any fire to burn under adverse weather conditions or unsupervised or otherwise in an unsafe manner or as an uncontrolled fire. Any person on a property where a fire is burning under adverse weather conditions, unsupervised or otherwise in an unsafe manner as an uncontrolled fire or otherwise in violation of this Part shall extinguish such outdoor fire immediately upon the request of the Code Enforcement Officer, a police officer, or any member of an authorized fire company which has been called to the property. Failure to extinguish such outdoor fire upon such a request is a violation of this Part. If no person is on such property or if such person refuses to or cannot otherwise extinguish the fire upon request of the Code Enforcement Officer, police officer, or any member of an authorized fire company, such Code Enforcement Officer, police officer or any member of an authorized fire company may take all appropriate action to extinguish the fire.

§ 10-110 Enforcement.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
The Code Enforcement Officer, any police officer, and any members of an authorized fire company shall have the power to enforce any provision of this Part. The Board of Supervisors specifically authorizes the Code Enforcement Officer to issue citations to enforce this Part.

§ 10-111 Penalties.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
1. 
If the Code Enforcement Officer, any police officer, or any member of an authorized fire company determined that a person has committed or has permitted the commission of a violation of this Part, the Code Enforcement Officer shall inform such person in writing of the violation, shall notify such person to cease the violation of this Part, and shall inform such person that he or she must pay a penalty to the Township within the range of amounts set forth below to settle the violation. The penalty for the first offense shall be $50; the penalty for the second offense shall be $100; and the penalty for a third or greater offense shall be $200. If such person fails or refuses to remit the penalty to the Township within 10 days from the date of the written notice of violation of this Part, the Township may institute summary criminal proceedings and/or may commence an action in equity.
2. 
Any person who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 plus costs for the first violation and a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 plus costs for the second and subsequent violations and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
3. 
No penalty herein shall prevent the Township from enforcing this Part by equitable, injunctive or other remedies.

§ 10-112 Township Liability.

[Ord. 2013-05, 11/25/2013, § 1]
The Board of Supervisors, and its agents, officials, and representatives, shall not under any circumstance be liable or responsible for damages caused to any person or property by reason of the issuance of any permit under the provisions of this Part, or by reason of the conduct of any burning activity in compliance or noncompliance with the terms and provisions hereof. The person responsible for any such fire and the permit holder shall bear sole liability for any damages caused as a result thereof.