2011 Aug. 29: IL Geneva (Chicago suburbs): Geneva City Council discussed Fire Pit regulation at meeting Aug. 29: Opinion: It’s time for Suburbs to ban all fire pits!
By Jeff Ward
Fact: Geneva City Council discussed Fire Pit regulation at meeting Aug. 29, 2011
(In the Chicago suburbs) I was surprised that only Downers Grove had expressly rendered the pits illegal. (Portable fire pits are allowed elsewhere) as long as they’re screened in or have a chimney.
With those common caveats, they are allowed in Western Springs, Elmhurst, Burr Ridge, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, St. Charles and Batavia. You can have one in Hinsdale, too, but it has to be an approved pit. Lisle requires the structure to be above ground for safety reasons.
They’re also technically legal in Geneva and Clarendon Hills but only if you’re using it to cook food and the flame is commensurate with the food you’re cooking. In other words, sticking a marshmallow over your backyard bonfire won’t work.
vestiges of my youthful asthma make inhaling any kind of smoke a lung-clenching affair.
before providing any final pronouncement I deliberated on this fire pit issue as objectively as possible. Here’s what I came up with!
When we walked out of that primordial forest and built those first structures on the plain, we traded some of our freedoms for that safer social structure. For any fledgling civilization to succeed, its members must regularly be willing to bow to the greater good (unlike our Washington politicians).
(Area commenters) make some very good points. And the first was that wood smoke, even the seasoned variety, ain’t good for anyone. The logic behind so many local leaf-burning bans is the effect that exhaust has on the exponentially growing number of asthmatic children.
Is it really fair to subject any unwilling neighbor to that kind of smoke? Does that process significantly differ from inflicting a loud AC/DC marathon upon them? With our current municipal noise ordinances, that one would clearly be illegal.
you can still use your indoor fireplace, install a non-polluting gas fire pit or move to a more-rural locale where open space eliminates the problem.
we can’t control where the smoke goes, proximity makes it time to bid adieu to our ancestral practice of sitting around the fire pit—portable or permanent.
Related Topics: Jeff Ward, Patch, Suburbs, and fire pits
I’m terrified to ask this but, what are your thought on freedoms vs. the greater good? Tell us in the comments.