Council Redefines Appeals Board, Burning Ban

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At the City Council meeting on Monday, September 26, members City Council voted to redefine the process and structure of the Board of Appeals in the City Building Code and to clarify the definitions on the outdoor burning ban. Adoption of ordinances 2011-22 and 2011-23 were reviewed by City Council first. Both of these ordinances will amend the City of Milford Code by amending Chapter 88, Building Construction.

Under these ordinances a board of appeals is created in order to hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions, and determinations made by the building and code officials. Applications for appeal can be filed for claims of an incorrect interpretation of the true intent of the code or the rules legally adopted. The Board of Appeals will consist of three members: the City Manager or his designate, a design professional (architect or engineer), and a representative of the contracting industry. The City Manager or his designate will be the standing member of the Board of Appeals. City Council will have the authority to appoint the design professional and the representative from the contracting industry.

The newly defined City Building Code states that “Any person directly affected by a decision of the Code Official or an notice or order issued under this code shall have the right to appeal a decision of the Code Enforcement and/or Building Official to the Board of Appeals provided the application is filed within twenty (20) days of the day the decision, notice, or order was served.”

Hearings before the Board of Appeals will be open to the public. Individuals appealing City decisions, Code Officials and those that are affected by the original decision will be given an opportunity to be heard at the Board hearing. City Council voted to unanimously adopt the amendment.

Adoption of Ordinance 2011-24 was brought before City Council to clarify the intent and further define the outdoor burning ban and exceptions. Under the newly clarified definitions, “engaging in the burning of materials wherein products of the combustion are emitted directly into the open air, including burning in burn barrels is unlawful.” This includes the burning of waste or garbage, leaves or grass clippings, land clearing debris, waste lumber, unsplit logs or stumps and plastics, rubber, fiberglass, insulation, or other materials that may contain carcinogenic compounds.

Exceptions under the new definitions include barbeque grills, gas or charcoal, used for cooking food, campfires or fire rings less than 24 inches in diameter and outdoor fireplaces provided they are not operated continually for more than 6 hours. City Council; voted to unanimously approve the ordinance.

For further information on the Board of Appeals or the outdoor burning ban, citizens can visit www.cityofmilford.com. The next City Council meeting will be held at City Hall on Monday, October 10 at 7pm.