Township of Robinson, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Robinson 7-14-2009 by Ord. No. 3-2009; amended in its entirety 8-14-2017 by Ord. No. 2-2017. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
CAMPFIRE
A small outdoor fire intended for recreation or cooking, but not including a fire intended for disposal of waste wood, yard debris or refuse.
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.
GOVERNING BODY
The Board of Supervisors of Robinson Township, Washington County.
OPEN BURNING
Kindling or maintaining a fire where the products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or a chimney. This includes burning in a burn barrel.
PATIO BURNING UNIT
A chiminea, patio warmer, or other portable wood-burning, gas-burning or other device used for outdoor recreation and/or heating.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association, corporation, department, bureau, agency or other legal entity.
REFUSE
Any waste material except trees, logs, brush, stumps, leaves, grass clippings, and other vegetative matter.
The Supervisors of Robinson Township shall have the power and duty to enforce the provisions of this chapter and therein, each Supervisor shall be considered an enforcement officer and, additionally, the same may be enforced by the Zoning Officer or any other enforcement officer as designated by the Board of Supervisors from time to time.
A. 
Within the limits of Robinson Township, no person shall:
(1) 
Ignite, feed, cause, allow, permit or maintain on any property any open fire for any purpose other than that specifically allowed for herein.
B. 
Exceptions:
(1) 
The Township of Robinson and its officers, employees and agents are exempt from the provisions of this chapter when the burning activity is conducted in the furtherance of Township operations or procedures.
(2) 
Open fires may be set in the performance of an official duty of any public officer if the fire is necessary for:
(a) 
The prevention of a fire hazard which cannot be abated by other means; or
(b) 
The protection of public health.
(3) 
Open fires may be set with approval of the Township and after issuance of a permit, provided:
(a) 
Leaves, branches and other nonputrescible vegetable matter only are burned.
(b) 
There is no practical available alternative method for disposal of the material to be burned.
(c) 
No hazardous or nuisance condition will be created by such burning.
(d) 
No such burning is allowed on any street or sidewalk within Robinson Township.
(e) 
All such burning must take place between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
(f) 
No open burning whatsoever shall be permitted on Sundays or federal holidays.
(g) 
No open burning whatsoever shall be permitted in the Single Family Residential District (R-1B), General Residential District (R-2), Commercial (C) District, the Light Industrial (LI) District and the Industrial (I) District.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(h) 
The burning of open fields shall be allowed in the Agricultural (A) Zoning District only.
(i) 
If located on the same parcel of land as a gas well, the open burning shall be located no closer than 300 feet from the gas well/gas line.
(j) 
The weather and wind shall be evaluated prior to starting the fire and open burns shall not be started when dangerous conditions exist or are forecasted to exist within a four-to-six-hour period.
(k) 
No fire shall be allowed to burn unattended without a responsible adult being present at all times and without readily available fire extinguishing apparatus. A "responsible adult" is defined to be an individual of 18 years or older (16 years or older if a certified Junior Fireman) who is not under the influence of drugs or alcohol or suffering from any disability which would impair his or her ability to properly supervise a fire.
(l) 
The Township itself and by and through its designated agents reserves the right to deny or stop burning if weather conditions are such that said burning is deemed to be dangerous or if said burning in and of itself is deemed to be a threat to the general health, safety and welfare of the Township and/or its citizens.
A. 
In Agricultural (A), Rural Residential (R1A) and Special Conservation (SC) Zoning Districts, an open burning permit may be obtained by filing an application with the Township. Permits are issued by the Township Manager and/or Zoning Officer. Permits are valid for one year and are issued on a calendar year basis. The annual fee for a burning permit in these districts is $25. Payment of the fee must be included with the completed burning permit application. Fees are subject to change by review and recommendation of the Township Board of Supervisors.
B. 
The permit holder shall notify the Township of each planned open burning activity in advance of the activity. Once the Township, through its designated agents, inspects and approves the planned burning activity, burning may commence according to the plan.
A. 
In all zoning districts, recreational campfires and the outdoor burning solely for the purpose of outdoor cooking, barbecuing, or ceremonies and the use of patio burning units are allowed without a permit so long as through use of a fire pit, stone perimeter, or other noncombustible containment device.
B. 
If wood is used for burning, only clean wood may be used.
C. 
The activities in this § 191-5 shall be conducted in a safe, nuisance-free manner and shall be subject to the conditions set forth in § 191-3B(3)(d), (j), (k), and (l).
D. 
Except for barbecue, gas, and charcoal grills, in Single Family Residential (R-1B) and General Residential (R-2) Districts, any burning under this § 191-5 must be contained in a containment device, or patio burning unit ("contained unit"). No other recreational campfires are allowed in Single Family Residential (R-1B) and General Residential (R-2) Districts.
E. 
Fire pits, containment devices, or patio burning units must be located at least 10 feet from the property line and 20 feet from any structure.
F. 
All open burning under this § 191-5 must be extinguished by midnight.
G. 
Recreational campfires under this § 191-5 shall not be permitted on Sundays or federal holidays.
H. 
No permit is required for burning under this § 191-5.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $500, and/or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 60 days.
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.
The Fire Chief, Emergency Management Representative, Zoning Officer, or any authorized officer, agent, employee or representative of the Township who presents credentials may inspect any property for the purpose of ascertaining compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances which are inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
If any sentence, clause, section or part of this chapter is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections or parts of this chapter. It is hereby declared as the intent of Robinson Township that this chapter would have been adopted had such unconstitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause, section or part thereof not been included herein.
This chapter, as amended, shall become a part of the Code of the Township of Robinson.
This chapter shall become effective on August 14, 2017.