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Neighbor two doors down is anti-smoke nazi

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by kalevi, Feb 27, 2008.

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  1. kalevi

    kalevi Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    167
    Loc:
    Ottawa Ontario
    I have a PE Vista insert. I've noticed that when I run it on low air flow, that I can smell wood smoke a little bit near my house if I go down wind sometimes and of course when I am first starting it or when I add new wood. My neighbor two doors down is complaining about smoke a lot. He got the neighborhood association to put in stuff against woodburning in the newsletter and also says he put a HEPA filter on his fresh air intake. He says that he hasn't been able to figure out where it is coming from (maybe because my fireplace insert doesn't really show smoke except when I start it) or else he is being polite. He has got to be pretty dumb if he doesn't know I burn 'cause he must hear me chopping and see the wood delivered in summer. Any suggestions? I don't want to make an enemy but I really like my fire and the unit is put in with all permits and inspections and I paid a bundle for the insert and liner. The good thing is the city allows wood burners.

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  2. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    958
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    Neighbors, I am very proud not to have any within sight and its best that way. Just offhand I can't see how he or his association can do much to you as long as you are legal really. I doubt that there is much you can do to buddy up to him either, just keep it cool and if he mentions it to you tell him you only burn dry wood have up to date stuff yadda yadda and drop it at that. Just keep you (((^^^& in order and like most things discretion is always the best practice. I have know many folks who are bothered by every thing that they don't do themselves. They are usually quite self centered and all they want it for the world to conform to their personal version of how things should be. Not much you can do about those people and they never seem to want to live in the stix like me either. There is no one there to inflict themselves on.
  3. cmonSTART

    cmonSTART Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    Messages:
    2,284
    Loc:
    Antrim, NH
    So, what you're saying is throwing some tires in would make him REALLY explode....
  4. Hayabusa Rider

    Hayabusa Rider New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    27
    Loc:
    Thumb Of Michigan
    Oh the joy's of co-mingling with the masses in the suburbs!

    Soccer Moms & Emasculated men!

    Where did the Country of our Forefathers go?

    Welcome to the new america, The Land of The Fee & Home of The Slave.......

    Be a good citizen and Turn in your Guns & Your Wood Burning Stoves......
  5. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    Invite him over when the power goes out...
  6. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    299
    Loc:
    VA Mountains
    Talk to the neighbors on either side and see what they have to say.
    Do some early morning coffee drives around the neighborhood to see if it is someone else with poor burning habits.
    Make sure your wood is good and dry and maybe burn a little hotter in the early stages.
    Write your own article for the newsletter about sustainable heating vs fossil fuels.
    Document your flue exhaust for a few days with video.

    HOAs can be a real PITA. Good luck.
  7. Hayabusa Rider

    Hayabusa Rider New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
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    27
    Loc:
    Thumb Of Michigan
    Holy Cow I saw this after I posted "Ottawa Ontario"..............Woops, I feel sorry for you, your in a Land owned by a queen, sorry again.
  8. pinewoodburner

    pinewoodburner Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    412
    Loc:
    Va.
    Unfortunatly, you need to make see if your HOA has the autority to add new regulations to it codes. If you do, get in on the board or get to know them and educate them. There are a # of stories of HOA gone wild. The bad thing is, many of them can do it legaly. Make sure you burn good dried wood to minimize the smoke and good luck.
  9. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    1,015
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    So every home in the association would gladly vote to eliminate their fireplaces, inserts or stoves to keep this idiot happy?
    My vote would be to look and see all the homes with a stack and knock on some doors and tell them, "did you know the guy down the street is trying to get the association to outlaw our fireplaces, etc."
    That should stir up some emotions....
  10. tkirk22

    tkirk22 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
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    299
    Loc:
    VA Mountains
    It's more likely than you think. It may take 51%. It's a 'squeaky wheel gets the grease' type of thing and usually the squeaker has nothing better to do than b*tch.

    Like pinewoodburner said: Read your communities covenants and restrictions. Or whatever they are called in our area.
  11. quinn

    quinn New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
    61
    Loc:
    Southeastern BC, Canada
    Hey Ottawa,

    I echo the sentiment above - burn your fire hot and never choke it down for a long burn. I live in a small town and have neighbors all around. I burn 24/7, have two stoves and go through 6-8 cords a year. The particulate and smoke pollution my stoves put out is a concern to me. So far I have had no complaints and I have been burning in this house for 4 or 5 years. It is, however, a real concern as particulate emissions from solid fuel heaters do aggravate lots of people with respiratory illnesses. As wood burners I do believe it is our responsibility to burn consciously and this means to burn hot, use dry wood, and never choke the stove down so that efficiency drops. As much as we all love our stoves and inserts, wood smoke emissions are a real public health concern and I think those of us living in urban areas owe it to our neighborhood to burn smart.
  12. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    British Columbia
    Do like I did" ad in the local paper --attention anti-wood burning freaks, when the power goes out-please don`t knock on my door, cause you have already stated that you want to freeze in the dark. No ng,no elec., but my god isn`t this smoke free enviroment awesome? Stay away, I don`t want my smoke to contaminate you, best you freeze,and carry-on with your belief that in a smoke free enviroment that you will live forever!! Even if you are frozen?? :cheese:
  13. ketoret

    ketoret Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Messages:
    72
    Loc:
    Israel
    woooeeeee. this thread touched a few raw nerves, it looks like.

    listen, it could be the neighbor is just middle eastern pocket bread (PITA), but as some pointed out here, one should not automatically assume that. the idea of talking to neighbors to see if it bothers them is a good idea. burning wisely is a good idea. being both sensitive and also protective of your rights is a good idea. inviting him in for a fire on a cold evening, with some 18 year old single malt scotch is a good idea.

    sticking him in the wood chipper is a last resort.
  14. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    958
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    18 YEAR OLD SCOTCH Are you nuts! Lowball the bum and give him a Genny cream. Save the good stuff for the guy who is your buddy. Where I come from that would be considered a bribe. You start giving the guy the good stuff you might not be able to get rid of em......................On the other had if he won't drink the Genny he is too high and mighty to have in your house anyways so send him on his way. If he does take the Genny he might even help you finish splittin................
    If he is a serious PITA there is always the wood chipper.
  15. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
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    1,099
    Loc:
    Burbs of B'more, MD, Hon!
    Save your booze! It doesn't sound to me like he has turned into a Nazi, YET, but don't do anything to irritate him. It sounds like you have already taken steps to minimize the problem. Just hope that if it comes to a head that your peers and HOA will find him unreasonable and ignore him.
  16. ketoret

    ketoret Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
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    72
    Loc:
    Israel
    a good scotch - the peace process

    the wood chipper - the piece process
  17. crazy_dan

    crazy_dan New Member

    Joined:
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    857
    Loc:
    Missouri
    I read posts like this and love the fact that I have no neighbors that I can't see or hear.
    No way would I give him booze might make him worse to deal with or force the wood chipper solution.
  18. ketoret

    ketoret Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
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    Loc:
    Israel
    i still think that treating someone like a human being is important. as long as you're well armed.
  19. kalevi

    kalevi Member

    Joined:
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    167
    Loc:
    Ottawa Ontario
    Wow, what a response! Just looking for ideas. Luckily the community association can't ban wood burning in Ontario. Every house in the whole neighborhood has a stack. I'm one of the few with an insert. We have fairly large lots and are pretty far apart. I do burn dry wood but like I said, when I start the fire and when I put in new wood, there is about 20 minutes of some smoke smell. I don't see much coming out of the stack ever except for when I first start the fire. My immediate neighbor has never even mentioned it. The anti-smoke guy and his wife literally run into the house when they see the weed and feed truck come to treat another one of our neighbor's lawns. (I'm not in favor of lawn treatments but I'm not going to get too upset when someone close by does it.) I just think he is over-reacting, kind of like that anti-smoke web site that someone here posted the link for a couple months back.
  20. milner351

    milner351 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2008
    Messages:
    104
    Loc:
    Belleville, MI
    Touched a nerve indeed.

    We live in a sub that was built in the 60's, with a few exceptions. One is the family two lots to our West that bought their lot from the previous owner of our home who owned three lots -- they built their place in the early 80's and it screams that period and looks out of place.... regardless - they are the most immature hypocondriac napoleans I've ever come across.

    So far they have dispatched the police, township inspectors, fire department, and EPA and DEQ folks on multiple occasions.

    Recently my wife figured out how to block phone numbers using our comcast phone service - so, we are no longer bothered by their calls when the wind occasionally shifts from the prevailing Westerly winds to those that swirl around and come out of the East.

    They've written letters - some threatening legal action, etc.

    Most recently (after we'd just installed our new PE Summit insert which is clearly 300% less poluting than the previous '80's smoke dragon)
    they filed a formal complaint with the township....
    This ended up costing us $65 for a new permit to inspect the installation of the new insert, which required that I remove all the front panels so they could directly inspect the hook up of the liner to the top of the stove.
    We passed the inspection with flying colors - and after talking at length with the township building department and DEQ (department of environmental quality)
    and giving them copies of the owners manual of our stove - and showing them it's one of the most efficient, low polution stoves on the market - they came around to my way of thinking.
    However - this has not prevented the neighbors from parking cars in front of our house with signs taped to the windows that read along the lines of:
    "PLEASE STOP BURNING - THE SMOKE IS KILLING ME"
    "PLEASE DON'T BURN WHEN THE WIND IS FROM THE EAST - WWJD?"

    As far as I know they've done NOTHING to figure out WHY outside air is so readily coming into their house - supposedly our chimney which is well over 150 feet from their house is "filling their house with smoke" on days the wind is from the East --- my suggestion to them has been to repair their leaky windows and doors and make sure their fireplace dampers are closed completely..... so far they've made no visible efforts to repair their home - just complain about ours.

    They even offered to pay us $50 a month to quit burning -- apparently they are complety out of touch with the reality of today's heating costs.

    My suggestion to you is to be as carefull a burner as you can - and make SURE you KNOW THE REGULATIONS that apply to you - they maybe complex - and you may have to pay some permit fees if you've not already to make sure your installation meets all applicable codes, etc. Many places have ordinances against burning leaves, trash, and all outdoor burning - but very few places have regulations on burning in fireplaces.... look into it and make sure you are as informed as you can be.

    Best of luck in your neighborhood fight -- the advice of the police, township, and our attorney has been simply to ignore our neighbors complaints, as we are operating completely within the law.
  21. kah68

    kah68 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    Lower Canadian Shield (Haliburton)
    I know this thread is getting long in the tooth, but no one can stop you buring wood in your home period. If the town or city was ever to become involved, it would have to go to the OMB (Ontario Municipal Board) and they spend plenty of $ every year in leagal costs with other more important issues than your properly installed WETT certified, inspected EPA low emmision wood buring stove. Just burn dry wood and focus your attention on things that matter to you.

    Enjoy your stove.
  22. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    Driz is right your not going to change this guys viewpoints . These are the type of people who "know it all". Best to lay low till it gets ugly then come out swingin.
  23. fespo

    fespo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2005
    Messages:
    429
    Loc:
    South West burbs of Chicago
    I would burn some willow, give him a real stink. NEVER NEVER back down, as long as your by the book, BURN. If he wins, what will be next? No back yard cook outs? Find out if you can have a compost pile, and then make one with all of GREEN GRASS,that will give a real good smell. And remember if all else fails, just rent the wood chipper, then place ALL CHIPS in your compost pile. Now you have a nice organic compost pile and in a couple of weeks everything is broken down.:) I had a neighbor like that once at my old house, what a pain in the *ss. Some people are just unhappy.
  24. drdoct

    drdoct Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    431
    Loc:
    Griffin, GA
    Most of the time with these kinds of people it's the fact that they think your killing their precious mother (earth). And yes, after they ban the fireplaces the grills will be next, then cars, then the actual power plants. I suggest you rent Fargo and proceed from there and do us all a favour.
  25. Henz

    Henz New Member

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    Loc:
    Northville, NY
    make sure that your homeowners association never bans indoor wood burning! also, I am sure that your chimney is up to code..Is this an exterior chimney??
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