Archive for Thursday, May 24, 2007

Council passes new burn ordinance

May 24, 2007

If one plans to burn a pile of leaves or create a campfire in their backyard, getting city permission just became easier.

The Eudora City Council voted May 14 to adopt a new burn ordinance at the request of Eudora City Fire Chief Randy Ates.

Ates pointed to flaws within the old ordinance. The old system required a resident to get a permit for a certain day, to be inspected by the city. Because of that, if the chief were on a call or out of town on business, the resident would be out of luck, Ates said.

The new system will allow a person to come to City Hall to get a permit and it will be good for seven days, Ates said.

The seven-day permit will be especially handy to residents who have to postpone burns because of weather, Ates said.

"I think this will make it easier for our citizens to have access to permits," Ates said. "It will answer some questions."

One recurring question includes the city's policy on campfires, Ates said.

In the past, residents had to take out a permit for each fire.

The new ordinance allows residents to conduct campfires on their property without a permit as long as a city enforcement official first inspects it, Ates said.

"Hopefully this will make the lives of our residents a little bit easier," Ates said.

Under the ordinance, citizens can burn organic materials, untreated wood and yard waste with a written permit, but the city strictly prohibits the burning of other materials including trash or debris.

The property owner can obtain the permits from Eudora City Hall, 4 East Seventh St., during normal business hours. Permits are $2 to conduct a burn on a property greater or equal to one acre and $5 for lots greater than an acre.

"This new burn ordinance clearly defines some of the things that weren't defined in the previous code," Eudora City Administrator Cheryl Beatty said. "In addition to that, it includes a permit fee that at least covers the cost of the form and time. We tried to keep the fee at a very nominal fee just because we want to encourage people to get the permit properly."

The new ordinance also defined restrictions for burns.

Burning will not be allowed in the streets and alleyways or near utility lines. Residents are required to have a water hose nearby connected to a steady water supply and are required to have the burn no less than 25 feet away from a structure.

A full transcript of the ordinance can be found at city hall or in the May 17 issue of The Eudora News.

"I think it will be a great improvement for the city. I'm glad to see it happen," Eudora Mayor Tom Pyle said.

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