Township of Exeter, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Exeter 6-25-2007 by Ord. No. 638.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 150.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 177.
Solid waste — See Ch. 316.
Zoning — See Ch. 390.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 136, Burning, Open, adopted 8-23-2004 by Ord. No. 576, as amended.
For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as set forth below, unless a different meaning is plainly required by the context.
AUTHORITY HAVING JURISDICTION (AHJ)
Fire Code Official, police officer or Code Enforcement Officer.
BRUSH
Bushes, shrubs, thickets, tree trimmings, hedge clippings and small trees.
NONORGANIC MATERIAL
Material derived or formed from inanimate objects, other than vegetables, such as tin cans, glass crockery, metals, plastic and similar materials.
OPEN BURNING
Burning any material in the open atmosphere, including burning in fifty-five-gallon drums, outdoor fireplaces or other containers.
ORGANIC MATERIAL
Material derived from living organisms such as wood, paper and yard scraps.
PERSON
Any natural person, partnership, firm, association or corporation.
RECYCLABLE
Any material that is required to be recycled in Exeter Township under the Pennsylvania Act 101,[1] including scrap lumber (nontreated/painted) and brush.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 4000.101 et seq.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to open burn any material, including the following, at any time in any zone within Exeter Township: household trash, books, magazines, newspapers, cardboard and/or any items that are required to be recycled in Exeter Township under the Pennsylvania Act 101,[1] including brush and scrap lumber or any vegetation, plywood, drywall, plastic products, insulation material, upholstered furniture, garbage, dead animals, human and animal excrement, human and animal hair, rubber products, including tires, hydrocarbon products or flammable liquids, asphalt or tar shingles or roofing materials, bedding, foam rubber, nylon, rayon, cotton, wool, polyester or other synthetic material, insulation from copper or other wiring, solid waste and/or construction waste as defined by the Pennsylvania Solid Waste Management Act and 25 Pa. Code 271.1, except where fire or burning operations result from:
(1) 
Any fire set for the purpose of training and instructing authorized personnel in firefighting and training of persons in the use of portable fire extinguishers (permit required).
(2) 
Any campfire or bonfire solely for organized recreational or ceremonial purposes (permit required).
(3) 
Any fire set for the prevention and/or control of disease or pests, rats, snakes, bees, etc., (permit required).
(4) 
The burning of only brush exclusively for agricultural management and conservation practices and protection and provided burning is located 100 feet or more from any building or structure. Brush must originate from the same property (first full weekend of the month; permit required).
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 4000.101 et seq.
B. 
Burning is permitted from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. No burning or smoldering shall occur outside of the above-stated hours.
C. 
The AHJ may suspend the above regulations at any time when the following conditions exist:
(1) 
When smoke and/or ash emission are or may be objectionable, offensive or deleterious to human or animal health or permeates or crosses neighboring properties and/or falls on buildings, vehicles or vegetation.
(2) 
When extreme dry conditions or drought warrant a ban on all burning.
Outdoor fireplaces and charcoal grills shall be permitted upon private property within Exeter Township solely for the purpose of cooking foods. The following regulations shall apply:
A. 
No person shall use such fireplaces or grills for burning of materials as outlined in § 136-2A of this chapter.
B. 
Outdoor fireplaces or outdoor grills shall not be used for such purposes other than cooking food.
C. 
Outdoor grills shall not be used indoors or in any enclosed areas that are not properly ventilated, i.e., garages, etc.
Outdoor patio stoves, chimineas, or factory-built metal novelty stoves shall be permitted outside residential private property within all zones of Exeter Township, provided that the following regulations apply;
A. 
No persons shall use such patio stoves, chimineas or factory-built novelty stoves for the burning of any material outlined in § 136-2A of this chapter.
B. 
If smoke, ash or smell omitting from such patio stoves, chimineas or factory-built novelty stoves become objectionable or offensive to neighboring properties, the AHJ may suspend the operation of same.
A. 
Fireplaces and woodburning or coal stoves shall be permitted inside residential private property within all zones of Exeter Township solely for the purpose of heating the dwelling unit. The following regulations shall apply:
(1) 
Only seasoned firewood, coal or solid fuels recommended by the manufacturer may be burned in such fireplaces, woodburning or coal stoves or solid-fuel heaters.
(2) 
No person may use such fireplaces, woodburning or coal stoves or solid-fuel heaters for the burning of any material as outlined in § 136-2A of this chapter.
(3) 
Such fireplaces, woodburning or coal stoves or solid-fuel heaters shall not be used for such purpose when, in the judgment of the AHJ, a fire hazard is created by such use and operation and/or any danger is posed to the occupants therein or the neighboring buildings and/or occupants.
(4) 
If the smoke, ashes and/or smell emitting to the outside atmosphere from the chimney, stove pipe or flue are objectionable or offensive to the general public, the operation of such fireplace, woodburning or coal stove or solid-fuel heater shall be suspended by the AHJ.
B. 
Outdoor wood heaters and outdoor boilers shall be permitted outside on residential property within all zones of Exeter Township solely for the purpose of heating water or the dwelling unit, the provision of such use being subject to compliance with the Exeter Township Zoning Ordinance,[1] including any and all area, yard and height regulations applicable to such uses. Additionally, the following regulations shall apply:
[Added 10-27-2008 by Ord. No. 664]
(1) 
Only solid fuels recommended by the manufacturer, seasoned firewood, or coal may be burned in such outdoor wood heaters/boilers.
(2) 
No person may use such outdoor wood heater/boilers for the burning of any material as outlined in § 136-2A of this chapter.
(3) 
Such outdoor wood heaters/boilers shall not be used for such purpose when, in the judgment of the AHJ, a fire hazard is created by such use and operation, and/or any danger is posed to the occupants therein or the neighboring buildings and/or occupants.
(4) 
If the smoke, ashes and/or smell emitting to the outside atmosphere from the chimney, stove pipe or flue of the outdoor wood heaters/boilers is objectionable or offensive to the general public, the operation of such shall be suspended by the AHJ.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 390, Zoning.
It shall be lawful to burn combustible rubbish and materials within Exeter Township by means of an enclosed outdoor or indoor incinerator operated by chemical or thermal means, provided the incinerator is attached to a proper stack or chimney and complies with the current Exeter Township ICC Codes and provided the following regulations are adhered to:
A. 
The incinerator shall be the type approved by an authorized representative of the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. Both of the above departments shall give evidence of approval in written certification of inspection and approval.
B. 
All owners of property within Exeter Township on or in which there exists an incinerator shall advise the Township Office of such incinerator and the location of the same.
C. 
The AHJ may terminate the use of any incinerator when found to be faulty or for the reasons stated in § 136-2C(1) and (2) of this chapter.
Ashes, smoldering coals, wood and embers or other material liable to spontaneously ignite shall not be deposited or allowed to remain within 10 feet of any combustible materials but shall be deposited in noncombustible containers. Rubbish of any kind shall not be allowed to accumulate.
All permits required under any provisions of this chapter shall be issued in accordance with Section 105 of the International Fire Code adopted by Exeter Township with the following provisions:
A. 
A fire prevention operational permit shall be obtained from the Township Office a minimum of 48 hours prior to burning. The applicant shall provide name, address, phone number, and the purpose for the permit and attach a drawing of the proposed burning site.
B. 
Permits to burn the first full weekend of the month may be obtained for a single month or for an entire calendar year. Other operational permits must be obtained for each special event (i.e., bonfires, campfires and cookouts).
C. 
Before the permit is issued, an inspection may be made by the AHJ to assure that the use of the permit complies with the provisions of this chapter and the International Fire Code.
D. 
Any permit issued may be revoked for the protection of life or property or to prevent or abate the nuisances caused by such burning. (A nuisance would be defined as ash fallout or smoke accumulation in the area of residential occupancies.)
E. 
If a person starts a fire without a permit or if a permit holder fails to comply with any term or condition of the permit, and as a result of that failure the Fire Department is required to suppress a fire, the person or permit holder is liable for the cost of fire suppression and subject to fines in District Court.
F. 
Permit fees will be set from time to time by a duly adopted resolution of the Board of Supervisors.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter or neglecting to comply with any order or notice issued pursuant hereto for violation of any section hereto shall, upon conviction before any District Justice, be subject to the payment of a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 and the payment of costs of prosecution for each offense, or shall be subject to imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 days. Each day's continuance of any violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense, punishable by a like fine and imprisonment in default of payment thereof.