Share This Page

Final vote expected for Whitehall fire pit and open burning ordinance

| Wednesday, April 10, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

An ordinance to restrict fire-pit use and open burning in Whitehall likely will be ready for a final vote next week, officials said.

A draft of the ordinance will stay on display at the borough offices in the meantime, borough Solicitor Irving Firman said at council's April 3 meeting. The ordinance also is available at www.whitehallboro.org.

Council members have discussed implementing regulations for outdoor burning since last June as a result of an increase in complaints from residents about the smoke pouring from backyard fire pits and into their homes and properties.

Officials have spend several months reviewing and making changes to the ordinance.

The ordinance outlines size limits for fire pits, the distance they can be located from a structure and times open flames are allowed.

The proposed rules prohibit outdoor fireplaces from being operated within 15 feet of a structure, combustible material or lot line. Fires also would be prohibited between 1 and 7 a.m.

Violators would face a hearing before the district judge and a fine of no more than $1,000.

An amended version of the ordinance was placed on public display after council's March 20 meeting but could not be voted on last week because it had to be available for public review for 14 days, Firman said.

Council members last week approved amendments to the borough's fire-prevention code, adopting the 2009 International Fire Code, published by the International Code Council, as a standard for fire safety in the borough.

Councilman Harold Berkoben was absent.

Transportation survey

A Whitehall councilwoman continues her effort of collecting data in the hope of helping improve public transportation in the South Hills region.

“The main thing is getting all of the public involved,” Linda Book said told her colleagues on borough council last week. There are several ways to participate in the survey, created by Book, which will be distributed in the borough's spring newsletter.

Surveys also are available on the borough website, www.whitehallboro.org, and at the Whitehall Public Library, 100 Borough Park Drive.

Surveys can be submitted to Book via email to lbook5200@yahoo.com with “SURVEY” in the subject line; through U.S. mail, Attention: Survey — Councilwoman Linda Book, 100 Borough Park Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15236; at a dropbox in the Whitehall Borough Building in the administration lobby between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on weekdays; and in the Whitehall Public Library drop box.

Responses are due by July 31.

Earth Day plans

A cleanup effort in Whitehall also will include about an education about local government efforts for refugees living in the town.

Mayor James Nowalk said officials have partnered with representatives from South Hills Interfaith Ministries to organize a cleanup effort in the Whitehall Place, formerly Prospect Park, housing complex for Earth Day on April 20. Local officials will talk to refugees in the community before they assist in the annual cleanup event.

“I think it will be a good civic event, as well as getting some garbage cleaned up in Whitehall Borough,” Nowalk said.

Civil Service rules

Whitehall Council last week approved changes to the borough's Civil Service Commission rules.

The changes included requirements for promotions of officers to sergeant and lieutenant post.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.