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Grills on Front Porches

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
304
Points
11
We have a big problem with people placing grills on their front porches. It's unattractive and a fire hazard.

Do you know of any communities that strictly prohibit grills or like items on front porches? Is this in the zoning or fire code?
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
It doesn't sound like a zoning thing... if someone wants to put a portable grill on their front porch and it isn't triggering some type of visual blight, I don't think there's much the municipality can do about it (as long as they aren't selling hot dogs or whatever from their front porch.) Now if they have built-in grills (like a fire pit or something), then you could probably make restrictions as you could classify it as a structure and require building permits for gas lines or whatever.

I have no idea if you can regulate it through fire codes. Oh MikeD... resident fire guru... what do you think?
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
It's unattractive...
I once lived in one of the neighborhoods that planners are always screaming we don't have enough of. It was a clean and friendly neighborhood full of hardworking and very nice people that kept-up their modest homes. These people were of all races, sexual orientations and political persuasions. We lived well together. This is the kind of neighborhood that had service alleys with rear facing garages, large friendly covered front porches, small lots and neighborhood amenities like some corner businesses. I believe it to be exactly what the new-urbanist neighborhood Nazis seem to desire to recreate at 10 times the price. All was in harmony in my little neighborhood, except the residents suddenly don’t seem to be "the right" kind of people for such a nice place.

In that neighborhood I spent much time right there on that front porch. I met my neighbors. I fed their dogs scraps. I planted flowers and plants. I observed my neighbor’s homes when they were out of town. I talked to their kids as they came and went from school or sports. I got to know my most of my neighbors and I got to know who was up to no good in the neighborhood. I once saved a lady from being mauled by a stray dog by tossing a brat at it and giving her shelter on my front porch until the Animal Control Officer arrived. I drank beer there on that porch. I never got drunk, but I did enjoy a tall cold one or three about once a week with my wife on that porch. There I talked on the phone to people I loved. And I grilled there. In all four seasons - I grilled and I and never once burnt the house down - not even when I drank beer and grilled. Try that some time it is a wonderful combination: Grilling and drinking beer.

I once even had the gall to clean my guns, after a day on the range, on that very porch and surprisingly people still stopped and talked to me without fear that I was going to gun them down - as most Republicans are wont to do once we have access to a gun.

Upon reflection I think that if somebody from city hall had sent me a letter or stopped by in person, God forbid, and tried to tell me I couldn't grill on my front porch I think I would have had a major conniption fit with that person, that person's boss, mother and personal savior. I think that your energies would be better focused elsewhere.

With planners It often comes down to: We can’t possibly allow the unwashed masses (who don’t appreciate the universal planners’ gift to their fellow man of intrusion into their personal affairs) to live unmolested.

Sometimes I am embarrassed by the classism and sense of "I know what is best for you" I see in my professional peers.

Viva la Grill! :)
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Guap only you could link someones god and mother to grilling out and freedom. :)

We had rules about such things in the HOA for the development i lived in and one apartment complex set of rules. they seemed to work well

Good luck
PG
 

Lee Nellis

Cyburbian
Messages
1,371
Points
29
Mike undoubtedly knows it better, but I am pretty sure the Uniform Fire Code doesn't stop folks from grilling on their front porch. Likewise any of the standard building codes. You would have to hook it up right if its built-in, but I don't think location (front, back, side) would be affected.

Whatever, I want to agree with El Guapo. This kind of intrusiveness in peoples' lives is what makes it difficult to build constituencies for addressing broader issues and to build support for planning beyond the local level. There have been questions in Cyburbia recently about why planners aren't at the table when other interests sit down to talk what will really. This more than anything else is the answer.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Sheer poetry, Guap.

OT - I did not know that a grill could work without beer.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
PlannerGirl said:
Guap only you could link someones god and mother to grilling out and freedom. :)

We had rules about such things in the HOA for the development i lived in and one apartment complex set of rules. they seemed to work well

Good luck
PG
Danie,
A HOA is a different thing entirely. It is like marriage. You know the rules before you say "I do." Sniveling after buying a house that you want to grill would be BS as i'm sure you will agree. See other threads on HOA whiners. But this place had no HOA. It was a bungalow in a 1910 neighborhood with a 12' covered porch with lots of ventilation.

Before I grilled there I turned the grill on high and felt the ceiling above it for residual heat - none. I cleared away any combustibles and I also kept a 12ABC fire extinguisher and a garden hose on the porch. Call me Mr. Safety.

1000's of brats grilled and no one ever killed. ;)

I was likely drinking 1 beer for every 6 brats grilled also.
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,066
Points
30
OK Guap, I get it now. You threw a bratWURST at the dog...I thought you threw a neighborhood brat (the kid next door).

Ah, but don't chide cowley too much. That community apparently has nothing better to do than keep some perception of a middle class Valhalla. (another example of a place where I could not work). Anybody recall a 70s flick "The Stepford Wives"? I would work there when my wife changes.

We passed an ordinance against butchering pigs in residential yards, but we let the citizens roast it and drink beer anywhere they want to. There are a few complaints about "those people" drinking beer and listening to music in front yards, which I ignore immediately.

Guap, you provide the Miller's, I'll be there. Hey, I am beginning to like New Urbanism.
 

nerudite

Cyburbian
Messages
6,544
Points
30
I agree that adopting something to regulate grills on front porches is excessive and I wouldn't go there... but I wasn't really giving my opinion of what someone else wanted to do, I just answered the question.

<start personal off-topic rant>

I'm likening this to clotheslines... nothing pisses me off more than people calling and complaining that their neighbour has a clothesline in the backyard/frontyard/sideyard. During the City's land use bylaw rewrite (of which I just finished the working draft 2 days ago... yay!), many citizens requested that regulations for clotheslines be put into the bylaw (meaning prohibiting them). Did I? Hell no... if someone wants to *save energy* and get that outdoor freshness, more power to them.

Sorry for the intrusion on this thread... I just started in this vein and had to get it out. :)

<end personal off-topic rant>
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
24
Seems to me grilling on the front porch is surefire TND element. I thought we wanted more social activity "on the street"?
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Yes Guap I do know the ins and outs of HOAs, im a subdivision planner ;-) I was offering ideas on how i had seen such things regulated before.
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,685
Points
57
cowley.11 said:
Do you know of any communities that strictly prohibit grills or like items on front porches? Is this in the zoning or fire code?
Fire code. It may not apply if the porch is uncovered.

Don't try to enforce this from a zoning standpoint. It will invalidate the rest of your work.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Dan is right...

Grills are commonly prohibited in some fire codes when there is an awning over the porch. This is usually "standard language" in HOA and lease agreements for rental units. I think they are more of a CYA type thing though, as there isn't much radiant heat coming off a grill especially 5+ feet above it.

IMHO, they are no more a fire hazard than faulty wiring in the dwelling. If something is going to go wrong it is going to go wrong, and there isn't much you can do about it.

The thing I don't like about front porch grilling in high-density areas is the smoke from the grill getting into the neighbors house.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Around here, fire codes only prohibit grills on porches and balconies of 3+ story buildings. Otherwise, okay.

I agree with El Guapo and the others. This is a perception of a problem.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
I agree with Guap.

What a horrible neighborhood that would be to live in or work for!

I would suggest this neighborhood ask the City to regulate the proper type of car parked in the driveways. We can't allow low class Fords, Hondas, and Hyundais! Only highly tuned German cars (even Guap's Volvo is too "bohemian" for this enclave of rectitude).
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
[ot]

Guap - did you find your volvo yet? There's one for sale down the block from work. A mid 90's sedan. It screams Republican every time I drive by it.

[/ot]
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
[ot]Thanks dude, but no I have yet to enter Valhalla. I am looking for a 200 or 700 series station wagon that screams "Ambiguously Gay Grocery Getter."




VOLVO PRIDE FOR LIFE[/ot]
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
El Guapo said:
[ot]Thanks dude, but no I have yet to enter Valhalla. I am looking for a 200 or 700 series station wagon that screams "Ambiguously Gay Grocery Getter."




VOLVO PRIDE FOR LIFE[/ot]
Still ot : Too funny. I was originally going to make my post read, "It screams Log Cabin Republican..."
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Zoning Text

My coworker in the next cubicle was gracious enough to help me draft proper zoning language:

"Section 25.98.(a), subsection (b), Division 2.a. - Outdoor Cooking Appliances

Outdoor Food Preparation Devices ("Grills") - when placed in conformity with applicable Uniform Fire Codes, outdoor food preparation devices ("grills") that exhibit culinary taste shall be permitted within the required rear yard. No outdoor grill shall be placed within the front yard setback.

All grills shall be enamel coated hunter green or polished black, branded by Weber, Vermont Castings, LL Bean, or other brand demonstrated to the City Taste Review Committee as appropriate for a residence in the City of Fairfield. Obscure German, Italian, or Swedish brand grills costing at least $8,000 (2003 dollars) will generally be permitted.

Violators of this section shall be cited once. Second time violators shall either be expelled at the City limit line or shall attend sensitivity training classes."
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
[ot]
bturk said:
Still ot : Too funny. I was originally going to make my post read, "It screams Log Cabin Republican..."
After much Cyburbia liberal aroma therapy I'm OK with that Brian. ;) A few months ago I was driving into a small town in my Volvo with a pink shirt and that is when the air conditioning compressor clutch chose to lock up. So the car is screaming really loudly and I am dressed in a pink oxford shirt as I pull up in front of city hall. This was a sight I am sure that had never before been seen in that small town. Their children will someday tell tales of the day the Gay Planner came to town.

If they only knew my cold, Republican, NRA, hetero heart was trapped inside a Volvo loving bubba's body. Ahh, the inner conflict Republican v. Lesbian. What would I do without it? [/ot]
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Re: Zoning Text

BKM said:
No outdoor grill shall be placed within the front yard setback.
Loophole! My house is 10 feet beyond the required setback and therefore can still be on my porch.


I'm glad to see my $8,200 Viking stainless stell grill with 4 burner stove will be permitted as an exception.
 

OhioPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
304
Points
11
We held a series of focus groups to identify the concerns of the residents. One of the big issues was an excessive amount of stuff on porches including couches, grills, trash, appliances etc.

So at this point we are investigating all of the alternatives that are out there for each issue.

This is a university area neighborhood that generally looks pretty rundown and trashy. If it were only the grills I don't think it would be a problem, it's the combination of everything that has residents upset.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
A lot of college towns deal with upholstered furniture etc on front porches. I'm sure there's something out there.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,398
Points
32
I have an ordinance that put simply says, inside stuff, stored outside is prohibited, but outside stuff is ok..... let me know if you want it and I'll send it to you
 

jmf

Cyburbian
Messages
594
Points
17
My town next door is a universiity town. They have enacted a noise by-law but most of their initiatives to promote "neighbourlyness" are through a community living campaign directed at students, landslords and local residents.

Some information is on their website: http://www.town.wolfville.ns.ca/main.html click on community living on the left hand side.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Re: Zoning Text

BKM said:
My coworker in the next cubicle was gracious enough to help me draft proper zoning language:

"Section 25.98.(a), subsection (b), Division 2.a. - Outdoor Cooking Appliances

Outdoor Food Preparation Devices ("Grills") - when placed in conformity with applicable Uniform Fire Codes, outdoor food preparation devices ("grills") that exhibit culinary taste shall be permitted within the required rear yard. No outdoor grill shall be placed within the front yard setback.

All grills shall be enamel coated hunter green or polished black, branded by Weber, Vermont Castings, LL Bean, or other brand demonstrated to the City Taste Review Committee as appropriate for a residence in the City of Fairfield. Obscure German, Italian, or Swedish brand grills costing at least $8,000 (2003 dollars) will generally be permitted.

Violators of this section shall be cited once. Second time violators shall either be expelled at the City limit line or shall attend sensitivity training classes."
Dude, George Foreman is going to come nocking on your door....
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Grills are prohibitted by fire code on apartment building porches here and is enforced by Fire Marshal and PD.
 
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