Village of Waterford, WI
Racine County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Waterford 6-12-2006 by Ord. No. 497. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Firearms and explosives — See Ch. 131.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 142.
Nuisances — See Ch. 165.
Solid waste — See Ch. 186.

§ 100-1 Purpose.

This chapter is intended to promote the public health, safety and welfare and to safeguard the health, comfort, living conditions, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Village of Waterford due to the air pollution and fire hazards of open burning, outdoor burning and refuse burning.

§ 100-2 Applicability.

This chapter applies to all outdoor burning and refuse burning within the Village of Waterford, with the following exceptions:
A. 
This chapter does not apply to grilling or cooking using charcoal, wood, propane or natural gas in cooking or grilling appliances.
B. 
This chapter does not apply to burning in a stove, furnace, fireplace or other heating device within a building used for human or animal habitation unless the material being burned includes refuse as defined in § 100-3 of this chapter.
C. 
This chapter does not apply to the use of propane, acetylene, natural gas, gasoline or kerosene in a device intended for heating, construction or maintenance activities, except as provided in § 100-8G(2).

§ 100-3 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms have the meanings prescribed herein:
BONFIRE
An outdoor fire with a diameter of 40 inches or greater intended for recreation or celebration.
[Amended 1-8-2007 by Ord. No. 507]
CAMPFIRE
An outdoor fire with a diameter of less than 40 inches intended for recreation or cooking, not including a fire intended for disposal of waste wood or refuse.
[Amended 1-8-2007 by Ord. No. 507]
CHIMINEA
An outdoor fireplace with only one opening for the insertion of fuel, and a chimney.
[Added 1-8-2007 by Ord. No. 507]
CLEAN WOOD
Natural wood which has not been painted, varnished or coated with a similar material, has not been pressure-treated with preservatives and does not contain resins or glues as in plywood or other composite wood products.
CONFIDENTIAL PAPERS
Printed material containing personal identification or financial information that the owner wishes to destroy.
FIRE CHIEF
The Chief of the Village of Waterford Fire Department or other person authorized by the Fire Chief.
OPEN BURNING
Kindling or maintaining a fire outdoors, where the products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air. Open burning includes fires contained in a chiminea, outdoor fireplace, outdoor fire pit, or other burning device.
[Amended 1-8-2007 by Ord. No. 507]
OUTDOOR BURNING
Open burning or burning in a solid-fuel-fired outdoor heating device.
OUTDOOR FIREPLACE or OUTDOOR FIRE PIT
A portable, manufactured, or permanent fire pit, chiminea, patio fireplace, burn barrel, or other container made of copper, steel, clay, cast iron, aluminum, brick, stone or other material intended to contain a fire within its fire bowl.
[Added 1-8-2007 by Ord. No. 507]
PATIO FIREPLACE
An outdoor fireplace with only one opening for the insertion of fuel, and a chimney.
[Added 1-8-2007 by Ord. No. 507]
REFUSE
Any waste material except clean wood.
SOLID-FUEL-FIRED OUTDOOR HEATING DEVICE
Any equipment, device or apparatus, or any part thereof, which is installed, affixed or situated outdoors for the primary purpose of combustion of fuel to produce heat or energy used as a component of a heating system providing heat for any interior space or water source.

§ 100-4 General prohibition on open burning, outdoor burning and refuse burning.

Open burning, outdoor burning and refuse burning are prohibited in the Village unless the burning is specifically permitted by this chapter.

§ 100-5 Materials that may not be burned.

Unless a specific written approval has been obtained from the Department of Natural Resources, the following materials may not be burned in an open fire, furnace, stove or any other indoor or outdoor incineration or heating device:
A. 
Rubbish or garbage, including but not limited to food wastes, food wraps, packaging, animal carcasses, paint or painted materials, furniture, composite shingles, construction or demolition debris or other household or business wastes.
B. 
Waste oil or other oily wastes except used oil burned in a heating device for energy recovery subject to the restrictions in Wis. Admin. Code ch. NR 590.
C. 
Asphalt and products containing asphalt.
D. 
Treated or painted wood, including but not limited to plywood, composite wood products or other wood products that are painted, varnished or treated with preservatives.
E. 
Any plastic material, including but not limited to nylon, PVC, ABS, polystyrene or urethane foam, and synthetic fabrics, plastic films and plastic containers.
F. 
Rubber, including tires and synthetic rubber-like products.
G. 
Newspaper, corrugated cardboard, container board, office paper and other materials that must be recycled in accordance with Chapter 186, Solid Waste, except as provided in § 100-10 of this chapter.
H. 
Yard waste, consisting of leaves, grass clippings, yard and garden debris and brush, including clean woody vegetative material no greater than six inches in diameter that must be recycled in accordance with Chapter 186, Solid Waste, except as provided in § 100-6 of this chapter.

§ 100-6 Open burning of leaves, brush, clean wood and other vegetative debris.

Notwithstanding § 186-19D of this Code, open burning of leaves, brush, stumps, clean wood and other vegetative debris is allowed in accordance with the provisions below. Grass clippings may not be burned. Grass clippings must be recycled in accordance with § 186-19D by taking them to the Department of Public Works building.
A. 
All allowed open burning shall be conducted in a safe, nuisance-free manner, when wind and weather conditions are such as to minimize adverse effects and not create a health hazard or a visibility hazard on roadways. Open burning shall be conducted in conformance with all local and state fire protection regulations.
B. 
Except for barbecue, gas and charcoal grills, no open burning shall be undertaken during periods when either the Fire Chief or the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued a burning ban applicable to the area.
C. 
Open burning shall be conducted only on the property on which the materials were generated or at a facility approved by and in accordance with provisions established by the Department of Natural Resources and the Fire Chief.
D. 
Unless explicitly allowed elsewhere in this chapter, a commercial enterprise other than an agricultural or silvicultural operation may open burn only at a facility approved by and in accordance with provisions established by the Department of Natural Resources and the Fire Chief.
E. 
Outdoor campfires for cooking, ceremonies or recreation are allowed, provided that the fire is confined by a control device or structure such as an outdoor fire place, fire ring, or fire pit. Bonfires are allowed only if approved by and in accordance with provisions established by the Fire Chief, who shall issue a permit therefor pursuant to § 100-10.
F. 
In emergency situations such as natural disasters, burning that would otherwise be prohibited is allowed if specifically approved by the Department of Natural Resources and the Fire Chief.
G. 
Distance from buildings and structures.
[Amended 1-8-2007 by Ord. No. 507]
(1) 
Distance from buildings on abutting properties and property lines.
(a) 
Open burning under this section shall only be conducted at a location at least 50 feet from the nearest building or combustible material which is not on the same property, and at least 10 feet from all property lines, except as set forth in Subsection G(1)(b).
(b) 
Open burning in an outdoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit may be conducted at a location at least 20 feet from the nearest building or combustible item which is not on the same property, and at least 10 feet from all property lines if the diameter of the outdoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit is 40 inches or less, the device has (and the user uses) a solid metal or metallic mesh cover or lid and a fire bowl or metal screen that completely contains and surrounds the fire area, or the device is a chiminea or patio fireplace.
(2) 
Distance from structures on the same property.
(a) 
Except for barbecue, gas and charcoal grills, no burning shall be undertaken within 30 feet from any building, structure, combustible material, combustible wall or partition, exterior window opening, exit access or exit, including any deck, unless authorized by the Fire Chief, except as set forth in Subsection G(2)(b).
(b) 
Open burning in an outdoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit may be conducted at a location at least 20 feet from the nearest building or combustible material if the diameter of the outdoor fireplace or outdoor fire pit is 40 inches or less, the device has (and the user uses) a solid metal or metallic mesh cover or lid and a fire bowl or metal screen that completely contains and surrounds the fire area, or the device is a chiminea or patio fireplace, without Fire Chief approval.
H. 
Open burning shall only be conducted between 12:00 noon and 7:00 p.m., except for campfires contained within an outdoor fireplace, fire pit or fire ring, which may be conducted between 12:00 noon and 10:00 p.m. Bonfires may be conducted during the times set forth in the permit issued by the Fire Chief.
I. 
Open burning shall be constantly attended and supervised by a competent person of at least 18 years of age until the fire is extinguished and is cold. The person shall have readily available for use such fire extinguishing equipment as may be necessary for the total control of the fire.
J. 
No materials may be burned upon any street, curb, gutter or sidewalk or on the ice of a lake, pond, river or waterbody.
K. 
No open burning may be conducted on days when the Department of Natural Resources has declared an ozone action day applicable to the Village.

§ 100-7 Solid-fuel-fired outdoor heating devices.

A. 
New solid-fuel-fired outdoor heating devices prohibited. No person may install a solid fuel-fired outdoor heating device in the Village of Waterford after the date of passage and publication of this chapter.
B. 
Existing devices. If a solid-fuel-fired outdoor heating device is in place on the date of passage and publication of this chapter, it may be operated and maintained according to manufacturer guidelines; however, if an existing solid fuel-fired outdoor heating device grandfathered under this chapter becomes hazardous, harmful, noxious, and/or a safety or health issue to the surrounding neighborhood as determined by the Building Inspector and Fire Chief, the owner shall correct, improve or abate the nuisance using whatever means are necessary. If the nuisance cannot be abated, then operation of the device shall be discontinued until a solution to the nuisance can be found.

§ 100-8 Fire Department practice burns.

Notwithstanding §§ 100-4 and 100-5 of this chapter, the Village of Waterford Fire Department may burn a standing building if necessary for fire-fighting practice and if the practice burn complies with the requirements of the Department of Natural Resources.

§ 100-9 Exemption for burning certain papers.

Notwithstanding § 100-5G of this chapter, paper and cardboard products may be used as a starter fuel for a fire that is allowed under this chapter.
A. 
Small quantities of confidential papers from a residence may be burned if necessary to prevent the theft of financial records, identification or other confidential information.
B. 
Confidential papers from a commercial enterprise shall be shredded or destroyed in a manner other than burning.
C. 
A fire set for burning of a small quantity of confidential papers shall be subject to and comply with § 100-6 of this chapter.

§ 100-10 Bonfire permits.

No person shall start or maintain any bonfire without a permit issued by the Fire Chief. The fee for the permit shall be in an amount set by the Village Board.
A. 
A permit issued under this section shall require compliance with all applicable provisions of this chapter and any additional special restrictions deemed necessary to protect public health and safety, and shall also specify the beginning and ending time for the bonfire.
B. 
Any violation of the conditions of a bonfire permit shall be deemed a violation of this chapter. Any violation of this chapter or the bonfire permit shall void the permit.

§ 100-11 Burning ban.

When weather conditions warrant, the Fire Chief or the Department of Natural Resources may declare a burning ban on all open burning and temporarily suspend previously issued bonfire permits.

§ 100-12 Liability.

A person utilizing or maintaining an outdoor fire shall be responsible for all fire suppression costs and any other liability resulting from damage caused by the fire.

§ 100-13 Right of entry and inspection.

The Fire Chief or any authorized officer, agent, employee or representative of the Village who presents credentials may inspect any property for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with the provisions of this chapter. If the owner or occupant of the premises denies access to the property for this purpose, a special inspection warrant may be obtained in accordance with Wis. Stat. § 66.0119.

§ 100-14 Enforcement; violations and penalties.

A. 
The Fire Chief, the Police Department and the Building Inspector are authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter, or any regulation, rule or order made hereunder, shall be subject to a penalty as provided in Chapter 1, Article II, of this Municipal Code. Violation of this chapter shall also constitute a public nuisance which may be enjoined in a civil action in addition to prosecution therefor.