Burning Regulations

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Fort Atkinson, WI 53538
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Code of Ordinances
Sec. 34-13. - Outdoor wood burning furnaces prohibited.

(a) Intent and purpose. The Common Council of the City of Fort Atkinson hereby finds that:
     (1) It is recognized and found that wood smoke is hazardous to an individual's health and may affect the health of the general public when they are involuntarily exposed to the presence of wood smoke.
     (2) Reliable scientific studies, including studies conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have shown that breathing wood smoke is a significant health hazard particularly to children, elderly people, individuals with cardiovascular disease, and individuals with impaired respiratory functions, including asthmatics and those with obstructive airway disease.
     (3) This chapter is adopted for the purpose of protecting the public health, safety, comfort, and the general welfare of the people of the City of Fort Atkinson; educating citizens affected by this section; and assisting property owners and managers in maintaining compliance.

(b) Definition. Outdoor wood burning furnace: A furnace, or similar device, designed and intended, and/or used, through the burning of wood, for the purpose of heating the principal structure or another accessory structure on the premises. These types of furnaces are characterized by a short stack height. They are typically located out-of-doors and are contained in freestanding structures, or enclosed within another accessory structure, such as a garage or corral. This definition includes outside wood burning water stoves.

(c) Prohibition of outdoor wood burning furnaces in the City of Fort Atkinson. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or use an outdoor wood burning furnace in the City of Fort Atkinson.

(d) Nonconforming use.
     (1) Continuation of nonconforming uses. The lawful use of any existing "outdoor wood burning furnace" existing at the time of the effective date of this chapter may be continued, although such use does not conform to the provisions of this law as hereinafter provided.
     (2) Extension or enlargement. No nonconforming or pre-existing "outdoor wood burning furnace" shall hereafter be extended, enlarged or expanded.
     (3) Abandonment and discontinuance. Any currently existing and used "outdoor wood burning furnace" which is abandoned or not used for a period of 12 consecutive months shall not be permitted to be re-established as a nonconforming use, cannot be used, and must be immediately removed by the property owner from the subject premises. If the property owner fails to remove the "outdoor wood burning furnace" by the end of said 12 months, the City of Fort Atkinson Fire Inspector shall give written notice by certified mail, personal service, or posting to the property owner upon which the "outdoor wood burning furnace" is located. Such notice shall provide that such person shall remove the same within 15 days of the notice. Should the "outdoor wood burning furnace" not be removed in the time specified, the fire inspector shall arrange for the removal of the "outdoor wood burning furnace". The cost of said removal shall be charged to the owner of said premises. Said cost, if not paid within 30 days, shall be assessed and collected in the same manner, by the same proceedings, at the same time, under the same penalties, and having the same lien upon the property so assessed as the general City of Fort Atkinson tax and as a part thereof.
     (4) Termination. At such time as the useful life of a nonconforming or pre-existing "outdoor wood burning furnace" has elapsed or would need to be repaired to function properly, the unit cannot be repaired or replaced and must be abandoned, not used, and removed from the property immediately.

(e) Enforcement and inspection. The City of Fort Atkinson Fire Department shall have the power, whenever they deem it necessary, to enter upon the premises/property to inspect and ascertain compliance with the requirements of this section. (Ord. No. 726, 12-2-14)



2019 Annual Report