Source: Sherman Publications

More to come on leaf burning

by Mary Keck

March 13, 2013

Since adopting a new burn policy last fall, the Independence Township Trustees has heard mixed reviews, but they aren’t finished tweaking the Open Burning Ordinance just yet.

At their first meeting in March, Supervisor Pat Kittle and Treasurer Paul Brown clarified burning restrictions and exceptions to Open Burning.

They noted the Open Burning Ordinance allows locals to burn on their property without a permit as long as the fire is restricted to a container such as a fireplace, chiminea, firepot, charcoal cooker, or barbecue grill.

The Burn Policy adopted in October bans burn permits for anyone living within 400 feet of a neighbor with a medical condition exacerbated by smoke, but such a medically based ban would not apply to a fire as long as it is contained.

On the other hand, residents living in an area where a neighbor has secured a medical restriction on burning cannot get a permit allowing leaf and twig burning, and they cannot have bonfires and campfires.

During previous board meetings on banning leaf burning, numerous citizens expressed concern about their inability to eliminate yard waste without the option of having a fire on their property.

When it comes to leaf burning, Clerk Barb Pallotta said the township is trying to “figure out a way to help our residents dispose of them without it being a financial burden.”

“We are working on that, and we’ll keep you posted,” Pallotta assured.

“I hate burning leaves, but I cannot go forward with any kind of proposal until we have some method to dispose of them in some cost efficient manner,” said Kittle. “When we find that, I wouldn’t mind going forward with a motion to ban burning period, as far as brush and leaves,” he said.

Currently, leaf and brush burning is restricted to individuals with burn permits, and it can only be done on the following days for properties less than three acres: March 16, 17, 19, and 21. Check the fire department’s calendar on for more burn dates.

View the township’s Burn Ordinance on The board next meeting will take place on March 19 at 7 p.m. at Township Hall on Waldon Road.