Silt nixes open fires, fireworks for 90 days |

Silt nixes open fires, fireworks for 90 days

SILT — Anyone planning open fires, home fireworks displays or other pyrotechnics in their backyard here had better think again, because the town Board of Trustees this week instituted an emergency fire ban that covers nearly all kinds of fires and fireworks.

“We thought that, due to the drought, and the Fourth of July coming up, we had to enact a fire ban,” said Mayor Dave Moore on Tuesday.

The ban, under an emergency ordinance, was passed unanimously at the board’s meeting on Monday night, Moore said.

Although there have been no problems with fires starting in Silt itself, the mayor said, the ongoing drama of firefighters battling blazes around Garfield County was seen as a sign.

“We just wanted to get ahead of the parade,” Moore continued, “rather than pass a bunch of laws retroactively after a fire, to prevent the fire before it gets started. We saw the handwriting on the wall, with the different fires all around, and we wanted to do what little we could.”

Silt’s fire ban, which is to be in effect for 90 days, does permit fires in “anything with spark arrestors and a grill,” he noted, and certain other kinds of outdoor fire.

But open, unconfined flames are not permitted, even in local backyards.

Concerning fireworks, he said, the ban prohibits “everything but sparklers and black snakes.”

Because the measure was passed as an emergency ordinance, no public hearing was conducted.

Modular home rules

In other action, the trustees adopted new rules concerning requirements for manufactured homes, including modulars, factory-built houses and recreational vehicles on residential properties within the town’s boundaries.

According to a memo from town planner Janet Aluise, the town historically has permitted modular, factory-built and manufactured homes in the R-3 residential zone district. Manufactured homes are built to federal Housing and Urban Development standards, she explained, and carry a special insignia exempting them from local codes for health, life or safety reasons, including wind load and snow loads.

But, she informed the trustees, the town can require that manufactured homes have certain architectural features and be placed on an engineered foundation that accounts for the makeup of local soils.

Modular and factory-built homes, she reported, comply with the 2009 International Residential Code, which has been adopted by the town and includes snow-load and wind-load specifications.

The new code, Aluise wrote in her memo, reflects the different types of construction and the town’s intent to see that fill perimeter foundations and architectural details desired by the town.

For recreational vehicles (RVs), the town has historically limited the use of RVs as residential units, by limiting the length of time once can be occupied continuously to two weeks within a calendar year.

But the existing code was not clear, she reported, and changes have been made to correct that lack of clarity.

The ordinance, as passed, repeals the existing code language referring to manufactured, modular and factory-built homes, and replaces it with new text.

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