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Ordinance Violation: Rodent Harborage - They want wood 18" off the ground...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by zzr7ky, Nov 14, 2006.

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  1. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    The leftist officials in my Township mailed me an Ordinance Violation: “Rodent Harborage” for having about a ½ cord of wood neatly stacked in a purpose build concrete and brick alcove in the front of my home. They claim all wood needs to be 18” away from a building and 18” off the ground. They didn’t cite me for the other 3+ cords that are in plain sight away from the house. I offered to ‘move that wood several sticks per day’ and conceal some rat bait deep in the piles in the meantime.

    So I ambled down for a chat. They had no complaint they had just decided to start campaigning the Township since a neighboring town had rat issues this Summer. In the end I agreed to move the wood in the front of the house. . I offered to ‘move that wood several sticks per day’ and conceal some rat bait deep in the piles in the meantime. The Ordinance folks seemed relieved to have a complaint that they could close.

    I also agreed to elevate any new wood high enough to be able to rake/blow leaves out from under the platforms. But 18” seems unreasonable, even dangerous.

    I’m sure some of you folks in the other less free areas of the country have similar restrictions. I’m in the process of building a large Holtz Hausen 10’ in diameter on 4 heavy Oak pallets. I’m planning to support the underside with cinderblock and castoff pressure treated. Anyone have any other ideas or experience?

    I did score a nice 18" tree at my church; the garden club even helped load out the brush and rounds! Had it split and stacked in the non-conforming pile before 12 noon.

    ATB,
    Mike P

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  2. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Few words explain my oppinion utter BS
  3. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hmmm, I could imagine a nice brick alcove purpose built being quite nice. kinda quaint even.

    Personally I think the ordinance is driven by a person with a split personality who is a member of the Green party, and is also a member of Green Peace. Likes the enviro friendly wood burner, but doesn't want the rats harmed.
  4. johnsopi

    johnsopi Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    MD near DE&PA;
    I find a lot of snake skins in my pile in the fall, andI find Deer mice nest all winter.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    ZZ, gated communities are definitely right-wing - captains of industry etc. They have rules which would make your head spin.

    So these officials are, IMHO, very right wing......

    Left wing folks usually live in communes, school buses, yurts, teepees or rented gay/bachelor pads....actually, usually in LA or NYC.

    To be certain, check the car. If it is American, chances are right wing, a volvo is definitely left.

    In all seriousness, this is not really too far out. I would say 4 to 6 inches might make more sense, and then again it seems strange to legislate it - but let me guess that you don't have 10 acres and live in farm country!

    About as far as they will go here is to force you to shovel your sidewalk.....and that actually makes some warped sense. Then again, this is the liberal capital of the world - so far left that many Americans would not dare to even enter! It is the original land of American Freedom and that scares the heck out of 'em.

    Western Ma. is a little like Oregon in that we would rather scare you away than have you join us.
  6. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Orient Point, NY
    Yeah... Western Mass... home of Northampton. Smith College, 'nuff said. First time I drove through that town I almost drove off main street into the hill in front of the college. Wow. 2 girls going at it on the hill... woot woot!

    No self respecting right winger would be caught dead in an American car, not around here at least. Volvos are reserved for investment bankers and attorneys who want to keep a low profile while delivering their kids to lacrosse or sailing practice. Maybe in the middle of the country they drive American cars, in fly-by country, but not the coasts. Nor would you be finding any right wingers around here imposing any codes on what you can and can't do with your own real esate... we leave that to the D people in town... both of them.

    As for rats, don't have any, but get plenty of field mice, and yeah, they love the wood pile. I don't think raising it 18" is going to do much of anything, but hey, what the hell do I know, I'm only half rat.

    Meanwhile, I heed the call of the Pro-Rat Party!!!

    -- Mike

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  7. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    18 inches high?? Must be the strain of rats the City of New York developed out at the Staten Island landfill/dump made it your way....size of small dogs...
  8. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    The new draconian reg. enforcement seems especially aggressive since Wife was Ex'd this spring. Or they seem to think this rural-ish township should aspire to be a NYC style utopia.

    I have all my wood up 4 to 18" off the ground. I'm leaning to blocking/cribbing up 4' square pallets about afoot and calling it good. More cinder blocks or more skids... it's a value free hoop to jump through.

    Mike P
  9. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    So Trump and I CAN build that tower right there on the coast at Orient Point?

    Goes to show we are a diversified country. We have gated right wingers, gated left wingers......

    Mike, I think you said you tried bios.

    You are officially a closet liberal.....although as a member of the Yachting class you lean toward Maine-iac GOP. And since castiron insists that we classify all as just ONE or the OTHER, welcome to la-la land.
  10. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    I'll put a Boston Rat up against a NYC model any time!

    Man, does Boston have 'em. Brazen and large. Everywhere! Whether in a nice neighborhood, a college, etc. - really quite creepy, but I guess one could get used to them. We stayed at a B&B in boston once and the back alley would have a few there squashed every morning. BIG. Did I say BIG.

    Any other Bostonians or visitors here that can confirm my experience?
  11. DriftWood

    DriftWood Minister of Fire

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    Bluewater Area, Great Lakes
    Just get your wood burning buddies to sign up to get the township to revise the ordinance. Wording should be added all wood piles attended by roving cats, snakes and owls are exempt. A lower reasonable off ground height could also be added. Or you can get the Ordinance thrown out. You are stuck now but you can change things.
  12. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Funny you should mention that... Trump was going to buy a 540 acre property around here on Cow Neck for one of those tacky wannabe-new-money golf communities... until one of our resident billionaires found out and decided he didn't want his back yard view ruined by McMansions on 5 acre lots... so he gets into a bidding war with Trump, out-bids him, buys the property, and then signed away all the development rights on the property to the town conservation program, keeping just the existing farm structures and the polo field. Sorry Craig, we have ways of dealing with people who want to ruin this place... they get bought out! Also, no gated communities around here, none.

    Haven't tried the Bios yet, but definitely will once I get up-island to the stove store. I'll report when they're burning.

    NOT a closet liberal, more like a conservative minarchist libertarian...

    Cheers -- Mike
  13. MrGriz

    MrGriz New Member

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    Waterford, WI
    Be Careful...

    If you get that wood too high up off the ground, some other group is gonna catch wind of the fact that small critters are having a hard time getting into said pile to nest. That could start an all out war with the town over the ordinance and it's environmental impact. I can see the DNR getting involved and declaring your woodpile a 'habitat', therefore making it off limits to development or tampering. Pretty soon you end up with a half a cord of cut, split, stacked, seasoned, habitat that you can only look at as the critters come and go...

    Can't we just go back to a time long ago when common sense and taking responsibility for one's own actions ruled the world?!?!
  14. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    You must have an poophead for a neighbor.
  15. My_3_Girls

    My_3_Girls Member

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    BaBa-BOOM-Balu! Amen, brother!
  16. suematteva

    suematteva New Member

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    Rutland, VT//Southern Quebec
    Out at that landfill (if i remember right it was called Fresh Kill) everything was supersized..
  17. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Waxhaw, NC... Formerly North shore Mass
    Oh yeah they are big and everywhere in the city, most have been displaced by the big dig and the leaks. :lol: Last may during all that heavy rain and flooding there were reports of waves of rats running down the streets of Charlestown (and they weren't following a guy with a flute either). There's too many High rises going up around the city on former landfills.............Wouldn't one think that this is where most rodents reside? Poor rats EMINENT DOMAIN is now affecting them too :lol:
  18. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Are you kidding me!!! 18" tell them to kiss you'r A** Some of the rats in Boston are big enough to put a saddle on and ride.
  19. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    Hi -

    Once I got home from the Ordinance Department I noticed smoke from the neighbor's yard. Walked over and he's running the splitter, burning the cast off bark. He's got a couple cords to go.... He altered the stack shape slightly and plans to make it a bit more "boaty" in shape and cover well with blue tarp.

    Casual inspection of all 6 neighboring properties shows 5 of the 7 of us with obvios non-conformancees, plus the new "boaty" shaped pile. The ordinance department combed the neighborhood. No complaint. This does seem like a Freedom of Information Act request could confirm if any neighbors need education. We do need corrective action in the ordinance.

    ATB,
    Mike P
  20. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Webmaster,

    Good humorous post! Hey, when I was stationed in MA in 1989-94 I bought a 1991 Volvo....does that make me a "leftist"....LOL...guess I should dump it for another Chevy.....if you read my "Ash Can" posts you'd be wrong about associating a car type with a political persuasion...LOL

    As far as the wood pile.....what I've noticed is that any small mice seem to climb up the woodpile and "hide" between wood splits for protection............so....even elevating it 36 inches won't stop them from climbing up the supports to enter the woodpile.......

    As far as MA being the origin of American Freedom, I remember a speech Charlton Heston gave as commencement speaker at Harvard years ago (find it here: http://www.ariadne.org/studio/michelli/heston.html ) in which he chastised students for accepting social norms foisted on us by Leftists. He said: "you are the best and the brightest. You, here in the fertile cradle of American academia, here in the castle of learning on the Charles River, you are the cream. But I submit that you, and your counterparts across the land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation since Concord Bridge"

    Moral of the story: keep your wood pile on the ground and tell the "Leftist" inspector to pound sand.....
  21. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    CastIron - Read you loud and clear. Hey - If you're shopping for a vehicle feel free to PM or EM me regarding potential GM discounts. Cehvy, to Hummer, Saturn to Saab... Any board members.

    My freedom loving son's and I were in MA this past summer. They were shocked at the level of local nannyism. They were especially shocked given the proximity to Concord, Lexington, Breed's Hill, Etc...

    I'm inclined to try the low profile route until after the first of the year, then start after a more reasonable ordinance. I noteced that several other locales in the area had exempted neatly stacked non commercial woodpiles or had 6" off the ground policies.

    I wonder how stable the average homeowner cribbed up woodpile structure would be? Is the 18" space and "Attractive Nuisance" where small children might be inclined to play... Seems like common sense to keep several tons of wood close enough to the ground that little one's are not threatened.

    ATB,
    Mike P Live from GM
  22. jjbaer

    jjbaer New Member

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    Thanks for the offer...will keep it in mind.

    As long as the 18" platform is stable, it's not any more likely to tumble if it's stacked 18" off the ground or 20,000 feet off the ground on Mount Everest....the safety issue you allude to is that once it DOES FALL, now it's falling 18" further onto the ground and as it falls from a greater height it gathers more speed and is therefore more dangerous to someone if it falls on them........this is where I'd point out to them that they're mandating a dangerous practice......... In fact, one letter to their legal office pointing out the dangerous practice they're mandating and the lawyers would squash that 18" code requirement NOW....

    As for the "nannyism", I saw it too...was stationed at Hanscom Air Force Base nestled between Bedford, Lexington, Concord and Lincoln and the Lib mindset is unreal....made me laugh....... The founding fathers would be "rolling over in their graves" if the knew that the same state that gave us "rough men" ready and willing to do battle at the likes of "Concord Bridge", "Lexington Green", and the "Boston Tea Party" to oppose taxation, now give us the likes of "Ted Kennedy", "political correctness", "gay marriages" and high taxes........ :ahhh:
  23. PAJerry

    PAJerry Member

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    Stupid regulation. I think that I have an answer if they ever hassled me about the wood in the breezeway - I have two outdoor cats that spend most of the winter in there so the mice should not be a problem. I can't believe the crap that some towns and 'home-owners' associations' come up with. These people need to find something productive to do with their time, like felling trees and splitting wood.
  24. jldunn

    jldunn New Member

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    This is the type of thing that happens when we leave local governance to the soccer moms and landlords. Your average resident usually doesn't get up off the couch when legislation like this is coming up unless the school's trying to tax out another million so little johnny can get a new football helmet.
  25. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

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    More & More!!

    I got another violation letter!

    So I head down to the Township offices to set and appointment to review the situation since I'm in compliance to my knowledge...

    Inspector and supervisor assume rather formal and uncompromising attitudes and even offer not to discuss the specific codes or alleged violation. As I expalin that I'm a bit confused as I've gone to significant pains to be in compliance, pehaps the'd be good enough to explain the particular aspects they noted and ony other information that could help me stay compliant? (long pause...No dice yet)...

    Then the two of them start asking me "what about the business you run from your house?" "You do run your saw's at all hours of the day don't you?", "And have loads of wood coming and going all the time..." I offered that I was now further confused.

    There was an opinion offered that bringing even one tree from one's neighbor's place to cut up for personal use was "Operating a Business" and a "violation". I didn't think it was politic to offer my opinion at that point. They did offer that they had written a half dozen violations against others on the street while they responded to the complaint against me. The poor buggers.

    After some more discussion acknowledging theat I was more than willing to comply with the ordinance, did not operate a wood business of any other business from the home, and than I didn't think any of us really felt like dealing with several rounds of FOIA requests, and associated eviews with township officials.... This was in a problem solving tone, not threatening but indicating a familiarity with the beaurocratic method.

    I got some pretty decent info and sugestions. It apears that ExWife's boss (who does opearte a business from his home in apparent violation and is in violation of Wood Storage requirements) is having some issues.

    Since relations seemed considerably warmer at this point I asked how I might remain in compliance when I cut large trees down, or purchase a load of wood which requires trimming, splitting, and stacking that will take more than a day. They said just give thenm a call and/or stop by and we would all come up with a reasonable plan.

    FWIW I'm cribbing up hardwood pallets with cinder blocks into 8'x 10' platforms, then stacking up about 5-6'... I also got a 30 day extension to deal with a couple trees on my place.

    It was abit of a struggle ot get the correct information but it doesn't seem as draconian as some of the other cities in the area. I will stay tuned to discourage any further restrictions.

    Thought you all would like to know.

    ATB,
    Mike P

    PS - I'm burning Sassafrass since it's Springtime! My son smoked some cheese with Sassafrass last weekend. Haven't tried it yet. He said if smelled "different"(?).
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