Fire pit ordinance proposed by city of Gloversville

GLOVERSVILLE – The Common Council has prepared a proposed ordinance that would govern fire pits within the city limits.

The council has been discussing the possibility of allowing recreational fires under certain conditions since the spring.

According to the provisions of the ordinance, those who wish to have a recreational fire must first obtain a permit for $25. The nonrefundable fee must be paid in advance of any inspection by the city fire department to the city clerk and city finance department.

A public hearing on the proposal is set for 6 p.m. Oct. 25 at the council chambers in City Hall.

First Ward Councilwoman Marcia Weiss said she worked on the ordinance with city attorney Anthony Casale.

The ordinance states fires can be no larger than two feet in diameter and no more than one foot above the burning surface. Fires need to be contained or surrounded by non-combustible materials such as concrete blocks or rocks.

The use of burn barrels is prohibited. Only seasoned firewood or manufactured logs such as “Duraflame” can be used. The burning of rubbish, recyclable items, paper or cardboard, yard and construction debris, pressure-treated wood or petroleum-based material cannot be burned.

Fire pits need to be at least 15 feet away from any building, structure, shed, garage, fence or combustible materials.

The council has been discussing the possibility of allowing recreational fires with a permit since May. Discussions began after several inquires were made to city officials about having small backyard fire pits.

The ordinance contains a section restricting the recreational fires on days when wind direction or speed will cause embers or smoke to drift to neighboring buildings or toward any combustible materials.

“Smoke from any recreational fire shall not create a nuisance for neighboring property owners. The fire shall be completely extinguished immediately up on the complaint of any nuisance smoke,” the ordinance states.

The permits would be revocable if the ordinance is not followed or if the fires become a nuisance.

The city currently allows for large bonfires for events with a special permit, such as the recent bonfire the Gloversville Enlarged School District held for homecoming.

The city code also allows for open fires for the purpose of preparing food.

“Outdoor cooking fires shall be temporary in duration, attended at all times by a competent person and shall be extinguished upon completion,” the code states.

“I think you’ve done a good job on the ordinance,” Mayor Dayton King said.

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