Council considering outdoor furnace ban

City council will vote next week on an ordinance banning any more exterior furnaces from being installed in the city. Then they will take some time to decide what to do with the ones already here. Dale Sheppard, safety/service director, urged council to ultimately ban all exterior furnaces. "Banning these things is the appropriate thing to do because they are nasty devices," he said.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

City council will vote next week on an ordinance banning any more exterior furnaces from being installed in the city. Then they will take some time to decide what to do with the ones already here.

Dale Sheppard, safety/service director, urged council to ultimately ban all exterior furnaces. "Banning these things is the appropriate thing to do because they are nasty devices," he said.

Linda Hebert, zoning officer for the city, also told council that regulating exterior furnaces would be difficult. She said four or five exterior furnaces are in the city now. She does not have records showing how many complaint calls she has received, but she said at least half of the complaints were about an exterior furnace on Henry Street that has been removed.

Henry Street residents came to complain about that furnace. "It affects the quality of life of many people," Jay Lukasko said. "I want my kids to be able to play outside."

Bryan Brown agreed. "A lot of times you don't see the smoke, but you smell the smoke," he said. He said the smoke triggered off migraines for his wife and asthma attacks for his daughter.

Tod Wise said regulations aren't enough. "We all know that people will do stuff and get away with it. The police department has better things to do" than check what people are burning in exterior furnaces, he said.

Kelly Beck, who has an exterior furnace, said the problem with the Henry Street furnace was that the owner burned green wood and didn't have a tall enough stack to get the smoke high enough into the air. He suggested council consider regulations about stack heights and what can be burned in exterior furnaces.

Beck also said the size of his lot would make possible setback requirements impossible.

Greg Dauch, another exterior furnace owner, said he has extended his stack by four feet since council first considered the issue and he will extend it further if his neighbors say the smoke is a problem.

Mike Hemenway, who sells exterior furnaces, urged council to consider the technological advances that have been made in the units.

Council members aren't ready to make a decision. "We're going to have to take some more time," Steve Euton said. "We're going to have to do some research."

Robert Carleton urged his fellow council members to consider a grandfather clause that would allow people with exterior furnaces to keep them. "We can't tell these people to take their investment and shove it," he said.

Mayor Sue Lesch said council should make residents their top priority. "I have great concerns about the health of the neighbors," she said. "Our first responsibility is to err on the side of caution. This isn't just a nuisance it's affecting people's quality of life and, perhaps, their health."

In other business:

Council approved the purchase of new playground equipment for Bishman Park. Thanks to a special deal from the company, the city will pay only $23,000 for a unit worth twice that amount.

Council approved a community reinvestment zone in the uptown area. Any businesses or residences in the approved area will be given tax abatements for remodeling, additions and new construction. Bethany Dentler, economic development director, estimated that the program will spur up to $500,000 worth of improvements in the area.

Comments

Deer Swiss fami...

bigger brains are better, too bad yours is pea sized. tool.

By the way... (...

is that your "CHRISTIAN" side showing there?? Hummmmm???

Hurry up! (Anon...

Hurry up and get your outdoor furnaces installed if you are looking to get one. They might ban any future purchases soon. Wouldn't it be a nice little revolution if a large percentage of Norwalk had one? :D

economic BOON (...

Bethany Dentler, economic development director, estimated that the program will spur up to $500,000 worth of improvements in the area

Dave Rimmer, Li...

If a large proportion of your town had one, there would probably be very few residents left alive and well to have a revolution. Being a stupid Brit, can anyone tell me why this equipment is so important.....is it cheaper than any other heating sources over there or is it just a historical thing that you want to destroy trees or are they used for burning rubbish as well as wood

Dear Mr. Rimmer...

Do you know the Beatles?

Re Dave: (Anonymous)

Yes, *VERY* much cheaper. If our country would quite screwing us, we would be able to afford natural gas or electric heat.

Re Dave: (Anonymous)

quite=quit Typo

smalltowner (An...

These units are not cheap and unless you are going to repay these people not only for the units and installation but for the increasing of their heating bills I think you should leave these people alone and let them do what they have to for their families. How can someone else rule about what you do in your own home. Come on people,this is suppose to be a free country. I say live and let live.

homeowner (Anon...

Why go for an all out ban now? Try the regulations first and if the problem still exists then ban them. With rising gas prices people shouldn't feel stuck, but people also should blow smoke at there neighbors either. I have looked into these furnaces because my heat bill is out of control. I don't want to be restricted from getting one if it can be made to not bother anyone. Just make some rules that make sense. I think most people would be happy to follow them.

Is city council...

cars, trucks, semi's etc for the exhaust that comes out of them too? What next a ban on fireplaces in historic and new homes? Ban on all woodburners? How about a ban on all the factories with smoke coming out of smokestacks?? I am with homeowner how about trying regulations first. Like I said on a previous page I am all over Norwalk and do not see any excessive smoke coming from any house. Tell me where is there a house with one of these so I can go drive by while it is cold and see how much smoke is coming from their furnace.

Smoke Stack (An...

Now thats just crazy. Goverment is going to tell my what I can do my back yard to heat my home! These heaters are approved by the EPA "THE FEDERAL GOVERMENT" The city of Norwalk is going too far to make a few whiners happy Why do you work on the drug and drinking problem!!

Why dont they (...

work on there is nothing to do in this town for kids instead of worrying about a handful of furnaces in this town? Like I said I have never seen alot of smoke coming out of any one house.

Ok (Anonymous)

This comes from the same administration that fires employees for saving the taxpayers of the city thousands and thousands of dollars.

Bob-O (Anonymous)

Dale I want your job. You see you make a living wage unlike the vast majority of Americans. You probably can afford to pay for coventional heat. Hey mayor - no disrepect, but I bet you are old enough to remember coal heated houses. In the early 1960 I sure remember them. A wide range of incomes used them. Lets not have a knee jerk reaction here. Conventional home heating will continue to increase. THINK ABOUT IT.

Done Deal (Anon...

hey fools, just like the real estate tax this is a done deal. no city in there right mind would allow these smoke belching shacks to destroy neighborhoods. you do not have the right to hurt your neighbor with your toxic stink because you a cheap or poor bastards. they will banned in time for xmas. done deal

kiwi (Anonymous)

please waddle yourself back on the little yellow bus.

Empty Town (Ano...

Well if there is a ban people should think of moving out of city limits. I did the math my self it would be much cheeper to move. My heat bill would go for house payment.I truley think its better off that way.EMPTY STORES/EMPTY HOUSE.I wonder what its worth??

Moving (Anonymous)

I like that ideal

Smoke Stack (An...

Intresting facts about outdoor wood burners! Someone needs to print this off and take it to the meeting

http://www.magic-city-news.com/O...

Done Deal (Anon...

Listen to the experts:

Dale Sheppard, safety/service director, urged council to ultimately ban all exterior furnaces. "Banning these things is the appropriate thing to do because they are nasty devices," he said.

So then why (An...

are they deemed safe by the EPA???

I understand (A...

The EPA see them as such a low threat that there not regulated.

Oh Really (Anon...

Bryan Brown agreed. "A lot of times you don't see the smoke, but you smell the smoke," he said. He said the smoke triggered off migraines for his wife and asthma attacks for his daughter

Oh Really (Anon...

Hey Brian, These are classic signs of a cracked heat exchanger, Get you Gas Heater check out ASAP!!

Smokey (Anonymous)

Feel sad for Norwalkians; my furnace has more than re-paid for itself; plus hotter than hell water for household use.Done deal dumb a** get on the EPA's web site & read about paper & wood particulant amounts compared to others listed on site. Think before you run your suck.

Nasty devices? ...

What's really nasty MR. Dale Sheppard is the sick idea that you believe these devices are something that could end the world. Are you secretly working for Columbia Gas and will be drawing a check for your efforts because you sound just like one of the poster boys that want to rip off the fellow citizens of this city. DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! These furnaces are EPA APPROVED! That should mean that you keep your nose out of it.

Done Deal (Anon...

Mayor Sue Lesch said council should make residents their top priority. "I have great concerns about the health of the neighbors," she said. "Our first responsibility is to err on the side of caution. This isn't just a nuisance it's affecting people's quality of life and, perhaps, their health."

Why ban first? ...

Why not try to compromise by trying to regulate them first. Make sure the stacks are high enough ect...? Sounds to me like this country is becoming more of a dictatorship. So Mayor, how deep are your pockets because these people need to be repayed all their costs to install the burners. They were Ok'd, therefore they need repayed.

Woodburning (An...

We're asked to find "alternative" fuel, so we did, now ban it? I bought the furnace because I can't afford the increasing gas costs! Dictating what sort of fuel I can use is rather ridiculous. Is this the U.S.? Or, did I wake up in an "alternative" universe where I just think I'm in the U.S.? Ban the wood furnace, then ban fireplaces too? They all produce smoke. Tell wood furnace burning people to lengthen the stakes so the smoke isn't low to the ground. Most cities have an ordinace on furnace chimneys. Please do NOT take the wood furnace away. If it is dictated to us to not burn our wood, I ask everyone who burns wood to burn it anyway! Police have more to do than be the "wood police". Shame on City Council for even suggesting banning the wood burners!

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