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Monday, May 2, 2016

Ban on outdoor wood burners gets final approval

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Greencastle City Council voted Tuesday night to give final approval to a new ordinance banning the use of outdoor, wood-burning heaters within the city limits.

This means no one living inside the city of Greencastle can install the so-called hydronic heaters that are becoming popular with homeowners looking to save on their energy costs. The ban does not apply to anyone in the city who already owns and operates one of these heating systems.

The idea for the ban was presented to the council last month and explained by Greencastle Fire Chief Bill Newgent and City Planner Shannon Norman. They told the council that the wood-burning stoves emit high levels of smoke and by doing so, present a health risk to surrounding homes.

City officials said they have received complaints from residents who live near homes where these types of systems are being used.

Tuesday night, council members briefly discussed the ordinance before approving it 4-1.

Councilman T.J. Smith said he had the signatures of 50 residents within his district who are opposed to the ordinance banning the use of the heaters. He voted against approving the ordinance.

Other councilors, including John Lanie, Jinsie Bingham, Mark Hammer and Adam Cohen, said they received very few comments from the public regarding this issue. They voted to approve the ban.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to give final approval to a new ordinance requiring homeowners with homes that have been built with so-called "engineered lumber" to display notification on the outside of their dwellings.

Fire Chief Bill Newgent proposed the ordinance at last month's city council meeting, stating that because of the way homes with engineered lumber burn, it is important for firefighters to be aware that a home has been built with these materials.

"It's all about the safety of our firefighters," Newgent said.

He explained that unlike traditional, solid pieces of lumber, engineered lumber is a composite material put together with adhesives and sandwiched in by an outer layer of natural wood. The way the material is made causes it to burn differently than traditional lumber, he said.

Homes where engineered lumber is used in the construction of floors tend to burn more quickly and therefore collapse faster than traditional lumber, which poses an obvious risk to firefighters trying to put out the blaze.

The ordinance, which was approved unanimously by the council, requires all news homes built with these types of materials to display a sticker on the outside of the home that will indicate to firefighters that the home was build with engineered materials.

Residents of existing homes may display the stickers on a voluntary basis, Newgent said. He said he wanted to emphasize that homes with engineered lumber are believed to be of the same quality as those made with traditional lumber, however, they do burn differently.

The state building commission will have to approve Greencastle's ordinance before it would take effect. Newgent said he did not know when that would take place.

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way to go T.J. ! i guess you are the only one who listens to the people that voted you in. keep up the good work, hopefully the rest of these crooks will get voted out next time! T.J. SMITH FOR MAYOR!

-- Posted by usmalein on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 7:43 AM

It would have to be up to the builder or building inspector to ensure that the sticker is put on. The homeowner, especially one who bought an existing home as opposed to having one built, would likey not know if the house was constructed with engineered lumber.

-- Posted by VolunteerFF on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 8:17 AM

I totally disagree with allowing the stoves in place to continue, a property owner should no have to put up with that stinking, foul smelling wood-burner his neighbor has. Smoke doesn't stop at the property line!

-- Posted by Trying hard on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 12:59 PM

You have got to be kidding....high levels of smoke pose a health risk....Whats next fireplaces? What about the folks in town who have fire pits in the summer? Will they be banned also?

Kudos to T.J. Someone is listening to the people.

-- Posted by citizenoftheworld on Wed, May 14, 2008, at 2:55 PM

Was the petition really there? No one saw it ,or was TJ just "blowing smoke"

-- Posted by Blue6 on Thu, May 15, 2008, at 3:20 PM

Ok, now ban all fire pits, fire places, indoor wood stoves, barbecue grills and citronella candles. Oh and neighbor, no more smoking cigarettes on your back patio either.

These outdoor stoves are becoming more popular every year. Homeowners can save a lot of money by heating their homes with them so now the council decides to ban them. Way to go, what a screwed up little town this is.

I spent less than two hundred dollars to keep my home at 72 degrees this winter. That includes gas and oil for the chain saw, gas for my pickup to move the wood I cut and to have a couple of chains sharpened. Not to mention some much needed exercise cutting the wood myself. Also I save $35.00-$40.00 on my electric bill every month by heating our water with the woodstove. What did it cost you to heat your home council person?

I burn wood, trees grow back, oil or gas doesn't. I use less electricity to heat our water which means a little less coal is used, less polution. Maybe a little smoke from a stove isn't such a bad trade off after all.

-- Posted by duallydriver on Fri, May 16, 2008, at 11:33 PM

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