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Thread: Regulation of detached wood burning furnaces.

  1. #1
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Regulation of detached wood burning furnaces.

    Does anyone have any regulation that would prohibit a wood burning wood furnace that would be detached from the main residential structure? We have a case that a guy has a wood-burning furnace that is used to heat the pool and the house, so it is running year round.

    A developer has called in a few complaints because he is trying to sell the house, and we would like to help him, but the use is not atypical for a residential use. Thus far there is nothing that we can do about it.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  2. #2
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    My ex-inlaws have an exterior wood furnace. Heats their whole house, and saves them a ton of $ on heating oil.

    Why would you regulate this any differently than a typical residential accessory structure (assuming it meets all applicable codes including fire code)?
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  3. #3
    Cyburbian SW MI Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    Why would you regulate this any differently than a typical residential accessory structure (assuming it meets all applicable codes including fire code)?
    Because of the smoke, odor, etc. that is associated with it. At least that is what the complaints I hear - I kind of like the smell!

    So, here is our ordinance:

    1640.06 FREE-STANDING WOOD BURNING FURNACES.
    (a) Definition. For purposes of this section, the term "free-standing wood burning furnace" shall mean any device or structure that:

    (1) Is designed, intended, or used to provide heat and/or hot water to any residence or other structure;

    (2) Operates by the burning of wood or other solid fuel; and

    (3) Is not located within a residential structure.

    (4) Excluded from the definition of a free-standing wood burning furnace is any device which is not designed or used to heat a structure other than the structure in which it is located.

    (b) Prohibition. It shall be unlawful to install or operate a free-standing wood burning furnace, and to cause or permit the installation or operation of a free-standing wood burning furnace, within the City.

    (c) Conflicts This section shall not be construed as an exemption or exception to any other provision of these Codified Ordinances, including the Building Code, Property Maintenance Code, or any other Code or ordinance. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of this section and any other ordinance or other provision of law, the more restrictive provision shall apply.

    (d) Existing Uses. This section shall not apply to any free-standing wood burning furnace that was installed, connected, and operating as of the effective date of this section. However, this section shall not be deemed as specific authorization for the use of any preexisting free-standing wood burning furnace and shall not be deemed to bar, limit, or otherwise affect the rights of any person to take private legal action regarding damage to nuisance caused by the use of a free-standing wood burning furnace.

    (e) Violations; Declaration of Nuisance. Any free-standing wood burning furnace installed or operated in violation of this section is hereby declared to be nuisance per se.

    (f) Issuance of Civil Infraction, Citations, and Notices. The City Building Inspector and the Director of Police and Fire Services, and their approved representative, are hereby designated as the authorized City officials to issue Municipal civil infractions (directing alleged violators to appear in court), as provided in Chapter 211 of the Administrative Code.

    (g) Penalty. Whoever violates any provision of this section is responsible for a Municipal civil infraction, and shall be subject to the payment of a civil fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00), plus costs and other sanctions for each infraction. Each day that a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate and additional violation.

    (Ord. 648. Passed 4-22-02.)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner
    Why would you regulate this any differently than a typical residential accessory structure (assuming it meets all applicable codes including fire code)?
    The adjacent developer is saying that the smell is preventing him from selling the last house in this section of the plat. The smell is not bad and it was noticeable only one time when I was out to do an inspection. I personally think that it is no different than if the house had an internal wood burning furnace.
    Quote Originally posted by SW MI Planner
    So, here is our ordinance:

    1640.06 FREE-STANDING WOOD BURNING FURNACES.
    [snip]
    (Ord. 648. Passed 4-22-02.)
    I am guessing that it is local and not state. Do you know the reasons behind it? Do you also prohibit internal wood burning stoves or those fully enclosed exterior fire pits, fireplaces, or chemnea?
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  5. #5
    Cyburbian SGB's avatar
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    Ou Town Code requires permits for all outdoor furnaces, and limit them to large lot rural residential zoning districts. This section of code is administered by our Fire Marshall's Office. Our code also addressess the following:
    • Permitted fuel (firewood and untreated lumber only)
    • Minimum lot size of 3 acres required for installation
    • Required setbacks of > 200 feet from any lot line
    • Months of operation (Sept.1 through May 31)
    • Spark arrestors required

    Permits may be suspended for the following:
    1. Emissions from the outdoor furnace exhibit greater than 20% opacity (six minute average), except for one continuous six-minute period per hour of not more than 27% opacity, which shall be determined as provided in 6 NYCRR 227-1.3(b);
    2. Malodorous air contaminants from the outdoor furnace are detectable outside the property of the person on whose land the outdoor furnace is located;
    3. The emissions from the outdoor furnace interfere with the reasonable enjoyment of life or property;
    4. The emissions from the outdoor furnace cause damage to vegetation or property; or
    5. The emissions from the outdoor furnace are or may be harmful to human or animal health.

    Feel free to PM me for more information.
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