Village law regulates fires outside

Village law regulates fires outside
Photo courtesy of the Town of Granville's website. A "Welcome to Granville" sign.

The first local law of 2021 was established by the Granville Village Board at its Oct. 4 meeting and another appears to be in the works.

The vote was unanimous on a law to set limits and regulations on outdoor and open burning within the village.

“The Village Board does hereby find that appropriate and salutatory measures must be taken to protect the public interest by regulating the open burning and outdoor burning in the Village of Granville,” said point 2B of the “Legislative Finding of Fact” section of the local law.

The law prohibits residential and business premises from conducting open and/or outdoor burning unless specifically permitted. The law is available to the public at the Village Municipal Center at 51 Quaker Street.

“Residential recreational outdoor fires shall be allowed, provided that it is not contrary to any state law, rule or regulation,” the law said.

Residential fires must be 25-feet away from any structure or combustible material and located at least 20-feet from any property line. The fire cannot burn longer than three hours, must always be attended by a competent adult aged 18 or older and cannot exceed the dimensions of 2-feet-by-2-feet-by-2-feet.

“Fire must be contained in a commercially designed and manufactured freestanding portable outdoor fireplace or manufactured fire pit with screens, lids and spark arrestors having openings of not more than five-eighths of an inch and constructed of non-combustible materials and put together and used in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions and shall not exceed 3-feet in diameter,” the law said. “Fires shall only be conducted between the hours of 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.”

Acceptable methods of starting a fire are deemed as “natural, seasoned and dry firewood and shall be ignited with a small quantity of paper.”

According to the law, the fire chief has the authority to extinguish the fire if it’s found unattended, is used in a hazardous condition, if the attendees are incapable of extinguishing or maintaining the fire or if the fire is not in compliance with the law.

Additionally, special events will be allowed upon approval of a permit and meeting with the fire chief.

A lengthy list of materials not allowed to be burned includes rubbish, garbage, asphalt, chemically treated or painted wood, plastic materials, rubber, recyclable cardboard and newspaper, clothing, biohazard waste products, leaves and brush debris.

The law will be enforced by the Granville Police Department, Engine & Hose Company #1 and the Local Ordinance Officer. who are authorized to issue appearance tickets following a violation.

On a first offense, the penalty ranges from a $100 fine to a $500 fine or up to 20 days in jail.

A second offense carries a minimum fine of $200 and maximum fine of $1,000 or 60 days in jail and a third offense would see a minimum fine of $500 with a maximum fine of $2,000 or 90 days in jail.

Mayor Paul Labas and the board will have a decision on their hands in the coming months regarding the “Village Property Maintenance Law” and have been in deep conversation with village attorney Mike Martin on specific wording and details of the law.

Originating from individuals leaving their trash and recycling receptacles out for an extended period, the board is looking to establish a guideline of when and where receptacles can be placed and when they must be retrieved.

“Essentially what it is, I know Mr. (Curt) Pedone had some issues with the current law that does not include commercial places, so this one includes commercial businesses as well as vacant lots (and residential areas),” Martin said. “It sets a time limit for the amount of time you can have the trash cans out at the curb and they have to be removed at a certain time. It also describes the certain containers the garbage should be contained in.”

The law will include language pertaining to furniture being left out at the curb as well, an issue for the Department of Public Works when conducting sidewalk work and plowing snow.

A public hearing was set for Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.