[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Franklin Park 11-20-2013 by Ord. No. 608-2013; amended in its entirety 12-18-2019 by Ord. No. 653-2019. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BARBEQUE GRILL/PIT
- A device designed for and used exclusively for cooking food by the application of heat from below; typically fueled by gas, charcoal, or electricity.
- COMMERCIALLY PURCHASED PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIREPLACE
- A commercially purchased portable outdoor fireplace or fire ring that may be constructed of steel, concrete, clay or other noncombustible 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 at the top.
- OPEN BURNING
- The burning of materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber. For the purpose of this definition, a chamber shall be regarded as enclosed when, during the time combustion occurs, only apertures, ducts, stacks, flues, or chimneys necessary to provide combustion air and permit the escape of exhaust gas are open. Open burning does not include barbeque grills/pits, commercially purchased portable outdoor fireplaces, permanently constructed fireplaces with chimneys, or road flares, smudgepots and similar devices associated with safety or occupational uses typically considered open flames.
- Any individual and his or her heirs, executors, administrators or assigns, and any firm, partnership or corporation and its or their successors or assigns, or the agent of any of the aforesaid, provided that "person" does not include or apply to the Borough, or to any department or agency of the Borough.
- RECREATIONAL FIRE
- A controlled outdoor fire that has a total fuel area of three feet or less in diameter and two feet or less in height built for pleasure, religious, ceremonial, entertainment, cooking, warmth, or similar purposes.
- SOLID FUEL
- Solid material, including without limitation wood, charcoal, peat, coal, Hexaminine fuel tablets, or wood pellets, used to create and/or burned to maintain a fire.
Subject to this chapter, an adult property owner or other adult authorized by the property owner may conduct or allow open burning on his or her property, solely for the following purposes:
Before an adult property owner may allow open burning on his or her property, the adult property owner shall submit an open burning permit application and have the proposed open burning site inspected and approved by the Borough Fire Official or Assistant Fire Official, subject to the following:
A property owner must allow at least 10 days for the application to be reviewed and the site inspected. Upon verification that the proposed open burning and open burning site comply with this chapter, the Borough Fire Official or Assistant Fire Official shall issue the property owner an open burning permit. If the Borough Fire Official or Assistant Fire Official concludes the proposed site does not comply with this chapter, the application shall be denied and the Borough Fire Official or Assistant Fire Official shall provide written explanation for the denial.
Open burning permit applications may be completed and submitted online via the Borough website, or on paper in person at the Borough Building during normal business hours. The fee for an open burning permit shall be set by Borough Council by resolution, from time to time.
Open burning permits expire on March 1 of each calendar year.
The Borough Fire Official or Assistant Fire Official shall maintain a register/log of all open burning permits issued under this chapter, containing the property address, date of permit issuance, type of open burning, and location on the property for which open burning was approved.
A new open burning permit shall be required if the type of open burning or location on the property for which open burning was approved is changed or altered in any manner.
All open burning permits are subject to future ordinance amendments. No vested or "grandfathered" rights shall be conferred in any type of open burning or location approved or permitted hereunder, and any permits used hereunder shall automatically expire if the permitted location or the open burning becomes noncompliant or prohibited under any future federal, state, county or local law, regulation or ordinance, including any duly enacted amendments hereto.
The holder of an open burning permit for a solid fuel-burning fire must notify the Borough Fire Official's office in advance of each burn. Failure to properly notify the Borough Fire Official's office pursuant to this section nullifies the open burning permit immediately. The holder of an opening burning permit for a gas- or propane-burning fire are not required to notify the Borough Fire Official's office in advance of each burn.
Notification of a burn may be completed as follows:
Open burning authorized under this chapter must be contained within an outdoor fireplace or other factory-built fire apparatuses.
Barbeque grills/pits and approved open burning utilizing propane or other gas fuel shall, while in use, be no less than five feet from a principal or accessory structure, combustible material, roadway, utility, and/or property line.
Approved open burning utilizing solid fuel shall, while in use, be no less than 25 feet from a principal or accessory structure, combustible material, roadway, utility, and/or property line.
Acceptable and prohibited burning materials.
Only smokeless fuels or small dry kindling, such as sticks and newspaper, may be used to start a fire.
All open burning authorized by this chapter shall be conducted using only charcoal, natural gas, propane, or other clean-burning fuel; dry, clean logs, twigs; or other untreated wood products.
The use of any of the following material(s) to start or maintain a fire is strictly prohibited: paints; painted or chemically treated woods; railroad ties; telephone poles; plastics; cardboard boxes, paper or paper products, except as otherwise authorized as acceptable kindling materials above; garbage or any other household or residential wastes; oil; grease; gasoline; asphalt products or any other petroleum products; rubber; tires; tar or tar paper; dead animals; animal or human waste; pathogenic waste; insulated wire; toxic or noxious materials; cloth; leaves; green yard waste; or any other materials that tend to cause excessive smoke or malodorous emissions or excessive smoke.
Maximum size. In all cases, an open burn shall be of such size that the combustible material and flame are contained completely within the perimeter of the authorized containment receptacle, and in no case may the combustible material and flame be greater than nine square feet (three feet by three feet) in area or in excess of two feet in height above the receptacle.
No person shall allow or maintain an open burn which creates excessive smoke, excessive odor, or malodorous emissions. Smoke and odors shall be considered excessive if they contribute more than negligible amounts of air contaminants perceptible beyond the property line of the source of the fire.
Only an adult property owner or other adult authorized by the property owner shall authorize or conduct open burning. The adult property owner or other adult authorized by the property owner to conduct such a fire shall, at all times, be present and shall tend to the open burning from the time it is lit through the time of total extinguishment. Adequate means to control and extinguish the open burning shall be readily available at all times during any burning. Suitable covering or means of disposal of ashes shall be provided to prevent them from becoming airborne. The adult property owner or other authorized adult supervising the open burning shall be responsible to assure that all aspects of the open burning comply with this chapter and shall assure that the open burning is completely extinguished before that person leaves the site. Immediately upon the discovery of an unauthorized or noncompliant open burning, the property owner or other person responsible for the property on which such burning occurs shall immediately extinguish, or cause the extinguishment of, such burning. Proof that the defendant in any enforcement action owns or controls the property on which open burning occurs shall be prima facie evidence that such person has conducted, or allowed to be conducted, such open burning.
A police officer, Fire Official, Assistant Fire Official, Building Inspector/Zoning Officer, or other duly authorized law or code enforcement officer of the Borough of Franklin Park may, upon investigation, order that any fire be immediately extinguished, abated, diminished or corrected (in his or her sole discretion) if, in the officer's sole judgment, the fire:
Is emitting excessive smoke, excessive odor or malodorous emissions;
Contains prohibited materials or is using prohibited materials or inadequate containment device or mechanism;
Is in a prohibited location or of a prohibited size;
Is emitting sparks or hot ashes that may pose a threat to nearby structures, trees, other combustible materials or to the safety of persons or property;
Where its size, materials, containment, location, emissions, proximity to structures, trees, other combustible materials, conduct of participants, weather conditions (including but not limited to wind, drought, dry or other conditions) or air quality, or other circumstances are such that continuation of the fire poses a risk of harm to persons or property;
A permit was not lawfully acquired as provided in § 97-2, entitled "open burning permit requirements;" or
No person shall allow, authorize, conduct or participate in any open burning except in compliance with this chapter or as authorized pursuant to a valid permit issued by the Allegheny County Health Department pursuant to county ordinances and regulations.
No person shall conduct open burning in the Borough, regardless of permit issuance, during a red flag warning issued for the location of the fire by the National Weather Service.
No person shall refuse to comply immediately and fully with any order of a Franklin Park Borough police officer, Fire Official, Assistant Fire Official, or other duly authorized law enforcement officer or code official to contain, control, correct or extinguish any fire or open burn.
Any and all Borough police officers, Fire Official, or Assistant Fire Official, are hereby charged with the responsibility of issuing warnings or citations, as merited, for all violations of this chapter.
Enforcement shall be by action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
A separate offense shall arise for each day or portion of a day in which a violation is found to exist or for each section of the chapter which is found to have been violated. In the event that such claims for fines and penalties exceed the monetary jurisdiction of a Magisterial District Judge as set forth in 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 1515(a) (relating to jurisdiction and venue), exclusive of interest, costs or other fees, the Borough may bring such action in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas or may, pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 1515(a), waive that portion of fines or penalties that exceed the monetary jurisdictional limits so as to bring the matter within the monetary jurisdiction of the Magisterial District Judge.
In addition to or in lieu of enforcement of this chapter as a summary offense, the Borough may enforce this chapter through an action in equity brought in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter or fails to comply therewith or with any of the requirements thereof, 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, including reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the Borough, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment to the extent permitted by law for the punishment of summary offenses. A separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation of this chapter is found to exist or for each section of this chapter found to have been violated. The Borough may also commence appropriate actions in equity or other to prevent, restrain, correct, enjoin, or abate violations of this chapter. All fines and penalties collected for violation of this chapter shall be paid to the Borough Treasurer. The initial determination of ordinance violation is hereby delegated to the Borough Manager, the Police Department, the Borough Staff, the Borough Building Inspector/Zoning Officer, the authorized designee of the Borough Manager and to any other officer or agent that the Borough Manager or the Borough Council shall deem appropriate.