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Royersford Considering Burning Ban

Issues with fire pits near rows of homes concern council

Royersford Borough Council discussed the potential for banning fire pits in the borough during Tuesday's meeting.

A complaint from Church Street resident Pauline Steeb led to some talk about fire pits at the last meeting. Steeb brought her concerns to council again on Tuesday night. 

"My house smells like it's been on fire," Steeb said. "The smoke comes through the trees and in my windows."

Borough manager Michael Leonard said that the police and the fire marshal were both out to Steeb's neighbor's home this week.

Leonard said in order to force Steeb's neighbor to get rid of the fire pit, the council "would have to ban all fire pits completely." Current ordinances do not ban fire pits.

According to council, that would include fire pits that are both in-ground and freestanding.

Leonard also mentioned the that will begin on Monday.

Council also again discussed a video security system for the borough. 

The subject was  and council opted then to ask Public Works Director Conrad Bauer to provide a report detailing some of the past costs to repair damage from vandalism and other issues. 

Bauer did so, and the consensus among council was to take some time to read the report individually and talk about the system at a future meeting. 

"We need to decide if we want to do it all at once or if we want to plan it out and budget for it," Councilman John Kring said.

"If we propose this and get it started we should see it through, and we should realize that they payback is worth the investment."

Dynamo47 August 01, 2012 at 11:05 AM
Personally I could see if this woman was concerned due to the drought and a hot ember possibly igniting a fire but for the smell? Just because she doesn't like the smell don't ruin it for everyone else. Perhaps the neighbor could move the firepit so that it was not as close to the house?
Kathy W August 01, 2012 at 11:40 AM
I agree, don't ruin it for everyone else. I don't have a fire pit yet, but have been looking at getting a propane one so it'll be enjoyable to sit out in the Fall/Winter months.
Mike August 01, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I can see where fire pits are nice, but I agree your whole house smells like smoke. Most people just burn wood. But some goofs put in trash and etc and leaves that are green. Then this is what causes the problem. I swhat stumps me is public records indiacte that this women did not come out and vote in the Primary. I would think that a councilperson would be more apt to listen to someone that actually takes the time and come and out and vote for them.
jackaroe August 01, 2012 at 01:23 PM
people burn crap all the time in my neighborhood. if its really smelly i shut my window. i like being able to have a fire and relax. rather close a window than sacrifice my fire pit.
MaryAnn Herbsleb August 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM
We have a free standing fire pit but have not used it so far. If only wood or those manufactured fireplace logs are used, I don't see a problem. There are gas fired pits on the market, too. Would they be banned? We get smoke and odors from neighbors' barbeque grills, too. Should they be banned as well???
Turtle August 01, 2012 at 02:03 PM
And what about people that have fireplaces or woodburning stoves in their house, I guess they should get rid of them.
Mike August 01, 2012 at 02:59 PM
I am not dis agreeing and I respect your comment. The problem is, it is too late to shut the windown once the house has smoke in it. It is kind of like closing the door after the dog got out. You can shut it, but the smell is all ready in the house. I know this women made a statement about them putting in trash. I think if they just burned normal wood like everyone else, The problem would not be there. But my wife even enjoys a fire, so I understand where you are coming from. I had a issue like this and I would like to enjoy the OPEN windows and fresh air when it is below 72, and some evenings people burn and sit around late at night, and my house was full of smoke. I shut the windows, but the smoke linered all night in the house. But I respect your comment
Bagman August 01, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I agree with most above. When does it stop? I don't particularly like the smell of seafood, but don't have a meltdown when my neighbor cooks fish. I simply close my windows, if necessary. Now if said neighbor is burning tires, or small woodland creatures in the back yard, then yes, time to say something. As MaryAnn and Turtle said - what's next? Woodstoves, fireplaces, grills? There are bigger issues in this world! I'm new to the Borough but I would have to think there is already some ban on burning "rubbish". Enforce that, but don't get carried away.
Shawnee August 01, 2012 at 04:00 PM
If this was a safety or health issue, then I could understand it. But because someone doesnt like the "smell"??...that's absurd! However I agree they should enforce what can and cannot be burned. Wood, yes. Plastic and trash, no. I will be one pissed off resident if they ban open fires completely.
Marie August 01, 2012 at 05:51 PM
This is just what I was thinking! Sometimes I don't like the smell of the dinner my neighbors are cooking...so I close my window. It's not that difficult a problem to solve!
Elizabeth Tobey Norris August 01, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Interesting! Back in 2005-2006, I called the borough, to be a good citizen, before I purchased a fire pit. I asked if they were allowed in the borough, and was told no - they were not. I asked about a chimnea, and was told that because they were enclosed, that it was alright to own one of those, so that's what I bought. I've used it maybe three times since purchasing it, but the people who live behind me on Main Street own a fire pit which they've had for years! I was also told during that same phone call that if a fire in my chimnea bothered a neighbor, I would have to stop burning, but that it was the only fire I could have in my back yard, because there was a closed environment, and that fire pits were not allowed.
shorti0624 August 03, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Really! Banning firepits! Ridiculous! Might as well ban smoking, cars, noise, fun....because living IN TOWN means when you have windows open you will smell/ hear everything. Before you know people won't be able to walk down the streets because somebody will be complaining! Can we focus on more pressing issues..
Sarah O November 13, 2012 at 03:18 AM
I get burning the trash and leaves, cause honestly my how reeks right now from someone burning outside. I like firepits though they are cool, wood only tho! And be careful with fire, there are way too many fires in royersford!!! I haven't even lived here a year and I've seen 3 houses on fire!

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