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Cascade Township, Michigan
 
Serene Vistas...  Plentiful Trees...  Two Rivers...  One Community...
Serene Vistas...  Plentiful Trees...  Two Rivers...  One Community...

Open Burning

An Ordinance to promote the public health, safety, and welfare by imposing limitations on the open burning of leaves, yard clippings, and other landscaping debris in Cascade Charter Township.

CASCADE CHARTER TOWNSHIP ORDAINS:
97.001 Purpose.

Sec. I. The open outdoor burning of leaves, grass, and wood creates hazardous byproducts that can irritate eyes and lungs, obscure visibility, soil nearby surfaces, create odors, increase fire hazards and risks, and pose other health threats. Open burning can also substantially increase the discomfort of people who suffer from asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other respiratory ailments. This Ordinance is intended to reduce the negative impacts of open burning of leaves, yard clippings, and other landscape debris throughout the Township, but particularly within that portion of the Township, which is most densely populated.

97.002 Definitions.
Sec. II.
A. Open burning shall mean the outdoor burning of any materials wherein products of combustion are emitted directly into the ambient air without passing through a stack or chimney from an enclosed chamber.
B. Recreational fire shall mean an outdoor fire or the burning of material other than rubbish, leaves, and yard clippings where the fire being burned is contained in an approved fire pit or ring.
C. Restricted Area shall mean that portion of Cascade Charter Township generally located north of Interstate 96 and west of Buttrick Avenue, as delineated on the Township map contained in Attachment "A" of this Ordinance.
D. Yard clippings shall include leaves, grass clippings, weeds, vegetable, or other garden debris, but does not include shrubbery, brush, tree branches, or tree trimmings.
E. Approved fire pit or ring shall mean a pit or ring that is no larger than 3 feet by 3 feet in diameter and constructed of noncombustible material.

97.003 Regulations - Open Burning.

Sec. III. The following regulations shall control the burning of yard clippings, shrubbery, brush, tree branches, and tree trimmings (less than six inches in diameter) on all properties in Cascade Charter Township. The following provisions do not prohibit recreational fires in Cascade Charter Township.
A. Limitations on open burning in the restricted area.
1. Open burning of leaves and yard clippings is hereby prohibited within the Restricted Area.
2. Open burning of shrubbery, brush, tree branches, and tree trimmings (less than six inches in diameter) may be permitted on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each calendar month during the time period spanning from December 1st through August 31st of each calendar year, provided that all of the following conditions are satisfied:
a. A written burning permit is obtained from the Cascade Charter Township Fire Department;
b. The property owner (or his/her agent) assures the Fire Department that the proposed fire is on their residential property and will remain on their premises, with constant supervision and control during the duration of the open burning event;
c. The open burning event takes place between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.;
d. No open burning event shall occur within 25 feet of an existing building or any paved portion of a public right-of-way; and
e. The fire will be of a short duration. For the purposes of this Ordinance, "a short duration" shall be constructed to be no more than five hours.
3. In no event shall any person burn any garbage, plastic, styrofoam, skid, chemically treated lumber, synthetic material or other hazardous materials, nor shall any rubber or rubber-based material (such as, but not limited to, rubber tires) be burned in the Township regardless of the method being burned.
B. Limitation on open burning in portions of the Township not within the restricted area.
1. Open burning of yard clippings, leaves, shrubbery, brush, tree branches, and tree trimmings (less than six inches in diameter) may occur with a Cascade Charter Township Fire Department Burning Permit on properties not within the restricted area, subject to the following conditions:
a. A written burning permit is obtained from the Cascade Charter Township Fire Department;
b. The open burning event takes place during the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.;
c. The fire will be of a short duration. For the purposes of this Ordinance, "a short duration" shall be construed to be no more than five hours;
d. The property owner (or his/her agent) assures the Fire Department that the proposed fire is on their residential property and will remain on their premises, with constant supervision and control, during the duration of the open burning event; and
e. No open burning event shall occur within 25 feet of an existing building or any paved portion of a public right-of-way.
2. No burning event shall occur on any Sunday during the months of September through November.
3. In no event shall any person burn any garbage, plastic, styrofoam, skid, chemically treated lumber, synthetic material or other hazardous materials, nor shall any rubber or rubber-based material (such as, but not limited to, rubber tires) be burned in the Township regardless of the method being burned.

97.004 Recreational Fires.

Sec. IV. Recreational fires are allowed in both the restricted and nonrestricted areas of the Township subject to the following conditions and requirements:
A. No recreational fire shall exceed a size of 3 feet by 3 feet on the ground.
B. No yard clippings or leaves shall be burned in any recreational fire.
C. To reduce unnecessary fire calls, it is recommended that the property owner call the Fire Department prior to starting any recreational fire.
D. Recreational fires must be contained within an approved fire pit or ring or in an outdoor fireplace. If that does not occur, the property owner must obtain a written burning permit from the Fire Department prior to the creation of a recreational fire.

97.005 Prohibition on the burning of construction materials.

Sec. V.
A. No burning of any type of construction materials shall occur.
B. If land is being cleared for a housing development or the construction of a house, the burning of trees or timber, which is cut down from on site, is allowed provided that the Fire Department inspects and approves all tree or timber piles to be burned prior to burning occurring.

97.006 Supervision of fires.

Sec. VI.
A. The property owner (or his/her agent) must personally supervise any and all fires, which occur on the property owner's land. Anyone supervising a fire must be at least 18 years of age or older.
B. The property owner (or his/her agent) must be present outdoors on the property at the fire at all times when smoke or flames are present.
C. No smoke is allowed to occur after the burning time period has expired.
D. No accelerants can be utilized to start a fire. Such prohibited accelerants include, but are not limited to, gasoline, diesel fuel, or any other type of flammable fluid.
E. The size of a fire cannot exceed 10 feet by 10 feet on the ground.

97.007 Issuance of a burning permit.

Sec. VII. Burning permits pursuant to this Ordinance shall be issued by the Cascade Charter Township Fire Department. The Fire Department may impose reasonable conditions on the issuance of a burning permit, including, but not limited to, limitations in the size, duration, time of day, location, and manner of burning.

97.008 Revocation of a burning permit.

Sec. VIII. A burning permit may be revoked by the Fire Department after issuance if the open burning event would likely be unsafe due to the particular circumstances or requests, including, but not limited to, unfavorable weather conditions.

97.009 Natural disaster event.

Sec. IX. In the event of a natural disaster which causes extensive damage to shrubs, bushes, and trees, the limitations on open burning of shrubbery, brush, tree branches, and tree trimmings in this Ordinance may be waived by the Fire Chief (or his/her designated representative), upon consulting with the Township Manager prior to the waiver.

97.0010 Conflict with other Township Ordinances; Repeal.

Sec. X. In the event of conflict between any provisions of this Ordinance and those of any other ordinance of the Township, the provisions hereof shall be controlling. Through the adoption of this Ordinance, Ordinance #16 of 1995, as amended, is hereby repealed.

97.0011 Exceptions.

Sec. XI. The following are exempt from the rules of this Ordinance prohibiting open burning:
A. Township parks in which fires are permitted by the rules governing said parks, and
B. Fires authorized for the training of firefighters or other controlled burnings approved by the Fire Chief.

97.0012 Penalties.

Sec. XII.
A. Any person who violates any provision of this Ordinance is responsible for a municipal civil infraction, subject to payment of a civil fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $500.00, plus costs and other sanctions, for each infraction. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
B. Repeat Offenses. Repeat offenses under this Ordinance shall be subject to increased fines as provided below. As used herein, "repeat offense" means a second (or any subsequent) municipal civil infraction violation of any provision of this Ordinance committed by a person within any one (1) year period and for which the person admits responsibility or is determined to be responsible. The increased fine for repeat offenses shall be as follows:
1. The fine for any offense, which is a first repeat offense, shall be not less than $100.00, plus costs.
2. The fine for any offense, which is a second repeat offense or any subsequent repeat offense, shall be not less than $500.00, plus costs.
C. Persons Chargeable With a Violation. Persons chargeable with a violation of this Ordinance and subject to being responsible for a municipal civil infraction may include the following:
1. The owner, agent, lessee, tenant, contractor or any other person using or having control of the land, building or premises where such violation has been committed or shall exist;
2. Any person who knowingly commits, aids and abets, takes part or assists in any such violation; or
3. Any person who owns or maintains any land, building, or premise on which such violation shall exist.
D. Loss of Burning Privileges. Any person found responsible for a violation of a municipal civil infraction offense pursuant to this Ordinance shall have their burning privileges suspended for 60 days for any and all properties, which they own within Cascade Charter Township, unless the Fire Chief waives all or part of that suspension for good cause shown.
E. Civil Remedies - In addition to the municipal civil infraction remedies provided above, the violation of any provision of this Ordinance may be legally enjoined and otherwise abated in any manner provided by law.
For the purpose of this Ordinance, each day that any person, firm, or corporation shall violate this Ordinance shall be deemed a separate offense.

97.0013 Enforcement.

Sec. XIII. The Fire Chief (or his/her designated agents of the Charter Township of Cascade or the Officers of the Kent County Sheriff's Department or any duly authorized law enforcement officer) may enforce the provisions of this Ordinance, including issuing municipal civil infraction citations.

97.0014 Effective date.

Sec. XIV. This Ordinance shall become effective thirty (30) days after a copy of this Ordinance (or a summary of this Ordinance) appears in the newspaper as provided by law.