Chapter 8.52


8.52.010    Purpose.

8.52.020    Definitions.

8.52.030    Declaration of storm emergency.

8.52.040    Permits.

8.52.050    Reconsideration.

8.52.060    Restrictions.

8.52.070    Coordination.

8.52.080    Enforcement.

8.52.090    Severability.

*    Code reviser’s note: Ord. No. 757 adds this chapter as Chapter 8.48. It has been editorially renumbered to prevent duplication.

8.52.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to permit outdoor burning of storm debris in those circumstances where no economically feasible alternative to burning exists for disposing of such debris. Any burning permitted pursuant to this chapter shall be so regulated as to protect the public health, safety and welfare. (Ord. 757 § 1, 1997).

8.52.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

A. “Agency” means the Puget Sound Air Pollution Control Agency.

B. “Chief” means the fire chief of Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 22 or his or her designee.

C. “Department” means Pierce County Fire Protection District No. 22. (Ord. 851 § 11, 2000; Ord. 757 § 2, 1997).

8.52.030 Declaration of storm emergency.

A. The city council may, by resolution, declare a storm emergency in response to any storm event or flood that generates such debris as to make disposal of such debris by any means other than burning economically infeasible or detrimental to the public health, safety and welfare.

B. Declaration of a storm emergency shall be made only after notification of the agency that the city council is considering such declaration, and only after allowing a representative of the agency to submit comments regarding such declaration to the council. The provision to the agency of the opportunity to speak at the meeting at which the council considers such declaration for approval shall satisfy the requirements of this subsection.

C. The resolution declaring a storm emergency shall restrict or limit such declaration as the council shall deem appropriate. Such limitations or restrictions may include, without limitation, the area of such emergency, if less than the entire city, and the date such declaration of emergency for allowing burning of storm debris shall expire. (Ord. 757 § 3, 1997).

8.52.040 Permits.

A. Upon council declaration of a storm emergency pursuant to BLMC 8.52.030, the department may accept applications for outdoor burning of storm debris pursuant to this chapter. Such applications shall be on forms approved by the chief, and shall be accompanied by a fee of $10.00. The application form shall require the applicant to specify the following: the approximate amount of debris to be disposed of, the type of debris to be disposed of (i.e., limbs, branches, entire trees, etc.), the source(s) of such debris, and alternatives to burning considered and the reasons each of such alternatives was rejected. A separate application shall be required for each property.

B. Upon receipt of an application for burning pursuant to this chapter, the chief shall determine whether, in the chief’s sole discretion, the application should be granted and a permit issued. Such determination shall be made on the basis of the following factors, which are not listed in order of priority:

1. Whether, given the amount and location of debris and any other circumstances relevant to the property, economically feasible alternatives are reasonably available for the disposal of such debris.

2. Whether burning may be conducted on the property in a manner that does not pose unreasonable risk to structures, vegetation, or personal property on or near the property.

3. Whether such burning may be conducted consistent with protection of the public health, safety and welfare.

4. Whether the debris to be burned and all of the other circumstances surrounding the application meet the requirements of this chapter.

5. Any other factor which the chief deems relevant.

C. The chief shall, within 10 business days of receipt of a complete application for burning pursuant to this chapter, notify the applicant in writing whether the application is approved or denied, and if denied, the reasons for such denial. If the application is approved, a permit shall be issued pursuant to BLMC 8.52.060. (Ord. 757 § 4, 1997).

8.52.050 Reconsideration.

A. Where the chief denies a permit application pursuant to BLMC 8.52.040(C), the applicant may, within 10 business days, request reconsideration; otherwise, the chief’s decision shall be final.

B. Upon request for reconsideration, the chief shall determine whether reasonable conditions may be imposed upon the issuance of a permit such that issuance of the permit would be consistent with the factors listed in BLMC 8.52.040(B), and if so, the chief may issue the permit with such conditions. Otherwise, the chief’s denial of the permit application shall be final. (Ord. 757 § 5, 1997).

8.52.060 Restrictions.

Each permit issued pursuant to BLMC 8.52.040 shall contain the following:

A. A statement of the date(s) upon which the permit shall be effective. Burning of debris pursuant to this chapter shall occur only on the date(s) specified on the permit. Unless the amount of debris to be disposed of dictates otherwise, permits shall be limited to one day of burning.

B. A requirement that, immediately before any person conducts any burning pursuant to such permit, such person shall contact the agency to determine whether an air pollution episode or period of impaired air quality exists in the area where burning is to occur. If either such condition exists on the date burning is to occur pursuant to the permit, no burning shall be allowed, and the permit shall automatically become void. In such cases, the chief shall issue a new permit for a future date.

C. A requirement that fires burned pursuant to such permit shall not contain any garbage, dead animals, asphalt, petroleum products, paints, rubber products, plastics or any substance other than natural vegetation debris.

D. A requirement that fires burned pursuant to such permit shall be no larger than four feet in diameter and three feet in height.

E. A statement that fires burned pursuant to such permits shall be for storm debris on the particular property for which the permit was issued. No debris of any kind may be brought onto the property for burning; provided, that small amounts of storm debris from properties directly adjoining the permitted property may be burned pursuant to such permit.

F. A statement that burning conducted pursuant to such permit shall be conducted in a manner consistent with all applicable federal, state, county and city laws, regulations and ordinances, as well as the regulations of the agency.

G. Such further statements, requirements or restrictions as the chief deems appropriate. (Ord. 757 § 6, 1997).

8.52.070 Coordination.

A. The chief shall coordinate the issuance of permits pursuant to this chapter so that a limited number of permits is issued for any particular day, and for any particular area of the city, so that potential fire risks are minimized and manageable, and so that excessive amounts of smoke will not be generated.

B. The chief may consult with the agency in determining whether to issue permits pursuant to this chapter.

C. The chief shall consult with the agency in determining the dates upon which burning is to be allowed under each permit, so that the agency has notice and an opportunity to provide informal input regarding the scope, location and timing of burning activities allowed pursuant to this chapter. The chief shall provide the agency with any relevant information which the agency may request, and shall consider any agency comment before issuing any permit. (Ord. 757 § 7, 1997).

8.52.080 Enforcement.

Any person, firm, corporation or association violating any provision of this chapter or violating the terms of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. (Ord. 757 § 8, 1997).

8.52.090 Severability.

The provisions of this chapter are declared to be separate and severable. The invalidity of any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or portion of this chapter, or the invalidity of the application thereof to any person or circumstance, shall not affect the validity of its application to other persons or circumstances. (Ord. 757 § 9, 1997).