Council to discuss ban on exterior furnaces|At least one city business owner calls the proposal 'bad government'

The discussion might heat up at the city council work session at 7:30 tonight over a proposed ordinance banning all exterior furnaces in the city. The proposed legislation states that outdoor solid fuel furnaces and outdoor wood boilers "constitute a hazard to the health and well being of the citizens of Norwalk, Ohio, due to the smoke, particulates, gases and other emissions."
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010


The discussion might heat up at the city council work session at 7:30 tonight over a proposed ordinance banning all exterior furnaces in the city.

The proposed legislation states that outdoor solid fuel furnaces and outdoor wood boilers "constitute a hazard to the health and well being of the citizens of Norwalk, Ohio, due to the smoke, particulates, gases and other emissions."

"It's bad government," said Mike Hemenway, owner of A-1 Sewer & Drain, which sells outdoor furnaces. "Instead of looking at the facts they're just taking the easy way and banning them. I sell an outside corn furnace that doesn't smoke at all."

Hemenway said he knows of several homes in the city that use outdoor furnaces as the main heat source. He suggested that council consider regulating the use of outdoor furnaces rather than banning them altogether.

"It's the same smoke that goes out the chimney if you were burning wood in the fireplace," said Charlie Fisher, who sells outdoor furnaces through his business, Hillside Wood Heat. He said he didn't usually advise people to install them in towns because of the close proximity of houses, but he does sell them to city residents who request them.

Hemenway said the Web site gives reliable information that council should look at before voting on the proposed ordinance. It contains a page with suggested regulations municipalities can consider regarding outdoor furnaces.

Council member Bob Carleton said he has researched the issue since receiving a copy of the proposed ordinance last week. "I have some serious issues with it," he said. "For a lot of people, that's the only way they can afford to heat their homes with the price of fuel oil and propane."

Council will hold a special session to consider joining in an ODOT project to pave U.S. 20, then consider the ordinance banning exterior furnaces and other legislation in a work session. LAW GUIDELINES

For communities considering related legislation, the following requirements have been recommended by Central Boiler, a company that manufactures outdoor wood furnaces:

1. Consider developing a permitting process for new installations of outdoor wood burning furnaces.

2. An outdoor wood furnace shall be laboratory tested and listed to appropriate safety standards such as UL (Underwriters Laboratories), CAN/CSA (Canada National Standard/Canadian Standards Association), or ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standards or other appropriate safety standards.

3. Consider having an owner submit a site plan to show where the unit will be located on the property.

4. Outdoor wood furnaces shall be installed, operated and maintained per the manufacturer's instructions.

5. Only natural wood or the manufacturer's listed fuels may be burned in any outdoor wood burning furnace. Burning of any and all other materials is prohibited. Create a list of items that should never be burned such as: trash, plastics, gasoline, rubber, naphtha, household garbage, materials treated with petroleum products (particle board, railroad ties and pressure treated wood), leaves, paper products and cardboard.

6. Outdoor wood burning furnaces should fall under reasonable setback requirements.

From the front lot line no closer than the house

From the side and rear lot lines 25 feet

From another residence not being served by the furnace on adjacent properties 100 feet recommended in Best Burn Practices.

7. If located within 300 feet of any residence not served by the furnace, it is recommended that the stack be at least 2 feet higher than the peak of the roof of that residence.

8. A process for enforcement and appeals should be established. Regulations should not contain biased statements. Regulations should state fact, not opinion.



smoke stack (An...

Let us hope the voice of reason is heard vs. a knee jerk politically correct ban.
There was a time when all of Norwalk was heated with renewable non petroleum fuels. In addition 3 railroad lines belched coal smoke dozens of times a day from one end of town to the other. All seemed ok with it then.
Norwalk needs to stand up and do what is right. It's ok to burn renewable wood.
If you or your children have a sensitivity to the smoke that didn't exist 50 or 75 years ago consider their diet of twinkies and other processed and junk food as that likely is the root cause of the discomfort.
Reasonable regulations are appropriate, a ban is pandering to folks that are just too stupid to know any better. Please think first.
By the way the article is a fair piece of journalism as it sourced some expert input, albeit a source that has a vested interest in sustaining this renewable energy. In the interest of fairness why not publish the point of view of those favoring a ban so we can all see what uneducated mental midgets (sorry little people)they are.

educated mental...

Looks like smoke stack wants to get people fired up against outdoor furnaces. Good way to start.

bored? (Anonymous)

Are there not bigger problems in Norwalk than to go after something that has been around since before the members of counsel started kindergarten. This is a nice way to inconvenience the people you are supposed to be representing. I would say 3/4 of the city feel as if this is something that should be left alone. These furances are a source of heat in a time that alternative heat sources such as gas are at the highest with no sign of reprieve and to actually ban them based on so called health concerns is humorus. All of a sudden after decades, this counsel of norwalk, on thier own, figured out, that they are unhealthy to thier fellow citymen and women. How did we ever survive to live in this day? Looks as if they should have researched the details before even bringing this up.

Otto (Anonymous)

What a JOKE I'm sure the City of Norwalk has more pressing problems to worry about than a little smoke coming out of a pipe. How about Parking lot water runoff? I would think that would be more of a problem but then the City would have to spend money!! We wouldn't want that to happen!! Those heater are approved by the EPA so move on to something else and stop wasting time!!! AND KEEP YOU NOSE OUT OF MY BACK YARD!!

swiss family......

maybe we could start a petition, to get this on the ballot, and brought to a vote, like Mr. Sitterly did???

Are you kidding...

Now the city of Norwalk is going to dictate how we heat our homes. God forbid someone heat their home with something other than Columbia Gas.


Calm down people! This is a proposal, nothing more. Certainly, City Council will discuss the pros and cons, and gather as much info as possible, before making some sort of decision.
If you have strong feelings one way or another, contact your council representative, and let him/her know how you feel.
Personally, I don't know enough about these types of heating sources to say anything one way or another. I live in a residental neighborhood, and as far as I know, no one around me has one.

dc (Anonymous)

these smoke bellowing stink ridden ugly little sheds should be outlawed in the city of norwalk and if you don't like it move

Boat Captain (A...

I have one of these in my neighborhood, can see it from my back yard. Yea, it smokes from time to time but it never offends me. Matter of fact I wish I could afford one! In stead I burn a wood stove in the basement. Strange thing is it seems to me that my wood stove smokes more. I have watched the neighbors it smokes only a few times during the day and my stove smokes about all the time ( I burn coal ). I think the outside ones smoke less because they heat up the water and then store the heat in the water until the water temp drops or something. I say let people try to save money if they can. I think Mr. Hemenways idea of just regulating them sounds fair to all.

zinc (Anonymous)

My wife lets out worse gas, and smells in the air.

Gross (Anonymous)

That was a nasty comment ted. Grow up.

gas prices (Ano...

The gas price is so high. I only go to work to pay for my gas going to work.

I Agree (Anonymous)

Gas is so high i scrape pennies. I never had 2 do that b4.

Electric (Anonymous)

I heat Electric. I would hate to heat by gas! OHHH those poor people. They way everything costs these days it's a shame.
I say heat how you "need" to heat, not how others "want" you to heat.

gas guzzler... ...

to the people of Norwalk , and the surrounding area, we are being overcharged again for the gas that we buy in Norwalk... the price of gas on friday was $3.04 in Sandusky and in Lorain..and at the same time, in Norwalk the price of gas was from $3.13 to $3.19 per gallon.. i will not make a special trip out of town to buy my gas, but i do make trips outside of town about once or twice a week, for errands, and i will continue to watch the prices of gas from town to town and station to station , and i will buy my gas where i find it to be the cheapest, and i can bet you that it wont be in Norwalk .. shame on you Norwalk dealers for taking advantage of a bad situation

tim (Anonymous)

Don't forget - Norwalk's water didn't meet EPA's regulations a few years back. Goose poop!! Lets kill the geese @ by the water works.

Fan of Mike (An...

I think Mike is right on the money. Regulating seems much better then banning them all together. Keep up the good fight, Mike. Connie raised you right! :)

swiss family......

Mike is Connie's son??? ok, enough said...

Fan of Mike (An...

you got a problem with that Tami Robinson swiss family? care to elaborate?? green eyes and I have been waiting...

TRAPPED (Anonymous)

got you, swiss...thought you might care to make a comment about Mike since he's Connie's son. So go on, the floor is open to you...don't hold back...tell us how you REALLY feel, we really would like to know. P.S. Mike is smokin' hot, even without the furnace! :)

goodgrief (Anon...

This is just another way to keep us down, how dare anyone get away with cheaper heat. you should be put in jail for getting a better deal, the KING isnt getting his fair share and thats what its all about Money.

dc (Anonymous)

it is a sad fact but there should be some type of permit for outdoor furance and it should contain that the furance should not be within 150ft of another house and if within 300 ft the chimmney should be 10ft higher than the peak of the house - - that way we are good neighbors :)

re: dc (Anonymous)

unless your neighbor is Kareem Abdul Jabar, or Wilt Chamberlin, or Shaq...

Here's what we ...

I think the City should hire a consultant to do a study for a measley $10,000.

Let There Be......

Freedom of heat!

The King and Hi...

Hurry all

Buy your permits to heat your homes!As of Dec 1 permits
will be figured to your property value by percentage
Your neighbors house is worth 40,000 Yours is 200,000
Who is going to pay the most? for the same results?
Pay the King Or you will be found incontempt!!!
Thats 10 days in jail with out bail or a court date

We love are system Signed
Tax Payer
oh yea no tax deductions

To the Sofa Kin...

My Dixie Wrecked.