An ordinance that would place some regulations on the storage of firewood in Brick is being revised to better reflect its true purpose, officials said.
That purpose, said Council President Paul Mummolo, is to stop firewood businesses from being run from homes rather than place too many limitations on residents who want to store firewood for personal use. Mummolo said in some cases, residents have complained that their neighbors are having between 20 and 30 cords of firewood delivered to their homes, then using saws and power tools to constantly cut the wood for resale.
“The ordinance that was proposed was not to stop you from burning wood or heating your home,” said Mummolo.
The ordinance is now under a review from the council’s land use committee, with future changes reflecting the need to provide relief to residents whose neighbors are running a business from their home, officials said.
“These people need a better quality of life because they’re listening to chain saws going all the time, things like that,” Mummolo said.
The original ordinance introduced last month limits deliveries of firewood to two in 30 days, prohibits storage in front yards after 10 days from the initial delivery date, and requires that firewood must be stored at least three feet from lot lines between homes. Under the ordinance, a homeowner would be limited to either a single delivery of log-length material each month, or two deliveries of split-length wood each month.
Firewood stored on the side or rear lot of a home “shall be effectively screened from view” from the front yard or the street, the proposal stated. Firewood stored outdoors must be stored in “neat, secure stacks,” and should not be stacked more than four feet tall except if positioned against a fence – in which case it can be stacked as high as the fence. Only two cords of wood would be allowed to be stored on a property at one time.
The ordinance may simply be revised in a minor fashion and put up for a second vote or, if it is revised is a significant manner, a new introductory vote must be taken with a second, final vote and public hearing scheduled. That will depend on the determination of Kevin Starkey, township attorney.
Mummolo said he welcomes comments from residents on how much wood they use and how it is stored so the ordinance can be crafted in a way that does not stop the average person from storing wood for their fireplace.
One resident, Scott Clayton of Burnt Bridge Road, said he stores more firewood than the original ordinance would allow, but only uses it for his own home.
“The average person who’s going to burn 24/7 is going to burn one cord a month,” Clayton said. “The average around here is five months. Most people don’t burn 24/7.”
But, he said, people often have to store enough for an entire season in advance.
“You can’t trust somebody to get it delivered in the middle of January,” he said.