Hoffman Defends Falls City Residents’ Burn Ordinance

FALLS CITY – Steve Hoffman made a plea Monday before the Falls City council in favor of residential burning.

Hoffman called the current ordinance that allows burning two days per week reasonable and contested the idea that no one is complying with the law.

In the last two years, police have received 158 complaints related to burning.

Statistically, Hoffman said, there has been fewer than one complaint for each day burning is allowed and said that indicates that many hundred Falls City residents comply with the current ordinance.

Hoffman: “The only statistically evidence I can come up with is that almost everybody is following it. 98 percent of the people are following it more than 98 percent of the time.”

In 2012, citizens voted to permit residential burning on a vote of 892 to 781.

Hoffman asked the council not to overturn the voice of the people.

Hoffman: “Overturning the voice of the people as expressed in an election by a small number of elected officials, in some people’s minds, makes a mockery of representative government.”

The city council advanced the burn ban on second reading, but adopted language that would allow the Krumme Memorial Arboretum to burn off natural grass stands.

The proposed ordinance would require the fire department to keep an inventory of “special use” sites that may apply for a burn permit.