Smoking Us out

Air out your smoke complaint here. We can give advice from members who have found themselves in a similar situation as yours, gasping for a breath of fresh air.

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Smoking Us out

Postby Gagging » Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:05 pm

The better half and I are at wits end !
We quitely live next to a pair of wood burning Neanderthals, You know the type: Large hairy arms, sleaveless flannel shirts, drive a pickup that has not seen an emisions test in 30 years.
Any how they show up home like clockwork at 4:30, Finish thier "driving home 6-pack" while lounging against thier pickup, then it's in they go to fire up the stove. the 1st hour or so is not to bad, but by 7:00 that thing is putting out so much smoke that poor Bruce is gagging. We tried sleeping in the basement, but the smoke seems to "settle" in Our home.
We tried to talk to them, but they just spewed some "Orientation jokes" at us. They just moved in January and started up within 2 weeks (renters).
We sent a letter to the landlord with no response. I talked to the police (in person) and they are not taking it serious.
I have a friend who is a Battalion Chief at a local fire station, He said as long as it did not pose a saftey risk, nothing they could do !!????
Is not the smoke a danger to Bruce and I !!!!!
How can there be a "noise ordanance" but nothing can be done about Our home filling with smoke ?? This is crazy !!
Has anyone succesfully stopped a "Smokey Neighbor" ??
If they have please share how ???

Thank You,
Oliver
Gagging
 

Postby Gagging » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:13 pm

Hellllo,
is anyone here that can help ?
They have that thing puffing like a locomotive
Oliver
Gagging
 

Postby FriendofAir » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:31 pm

You are in a tough spot.

Maybe you could bribe them with beer, offer to pay for some other method of heat, or come up with another carrot.

If your other neighbors are similarly exposed you could file a nuisance complaint.

Move or pay for them to move.

Try blasting them with music until they stop blasting you with smoke.

As you can tell your options are not very good, quite limited, and you have very little leverage.
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Postby bodhi » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:52 pm

the first thing to do is talk with the neighbors. tell them what is happening. (which you have already done). if this does not work be aware that historically, these kind of situations take a long time to resolve.
i know of a similar case that went on for 3 years before anything changed. the stove users were renters and the ones getting smoked out owned their home. after several letters from lawyers and a mediation by city officials over the period of 3 years, the landlords finally took out the wood stove. but not because of the letters or the mediation. it was removed because when the landlords decided to sell their house (stove house), the neighbors lawyers sent one last letter. it took advantage of a disclosure clause that was a mandatory part of the real estate transaction in their state. the lawyers requested that the real estate agency disclose to any and all buyers that there was a serious problem due to the use of the stove. a week after the letter was sent the stove was gone. shortly after that the house was sold.
the family that got smoked out later told me they wished they had sold their own house and moved. the stress and misery due to the conflict was off the charts.
the stove user was in the habit of choking his stove down at night so he would not have to light up again in the morning. they said it was going 24/7.

if you decide to look for help, start by checking with the city and state health departments. there may be a nuisance ordinance that could be used to help you.

~bodhi

p.s. check this thread--->
http://www.burningissues.org/forum/phpB ... light=#301
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Postby Gagging » Fri Mar 16, 2007 2:42 pm

BG9,
Yes I have talked to the fire Dept (1st post)

Bodhi,
Like I said, WWIII is not an option, While I could with stand a long term conflict, poor Bruce is the "Gen-Teal" type, It would break him.
So as I see it, it is either sell and move, or make a connection and turn them. I did get a grunt "hey" and half a$$ed wave from the one yesterday, I think his name is Melk, or Elk, the other goes by "Hog"
Melk seams "approachable", Hog strikes Me as a true "Neanderthal"

This may take a while to build a relationship with "polar opposites"
But the only other option is moving.


Oliver
Gagging
 

Postby FriendofAir » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:48 pm

The moving option poses an interesting predicament. Depending on your state disclosure laws, the situation as you describe, may need to be disclosed to a potential buyer. If that is true, that would reduce the value of your property. The loss of your property value could be a cause of action against your renters.

Are there other neighbors that are similarly affected?

You never know, some beer and conversation looks better than the alternative and may go a long way.
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Postby bodhi » Sat Mar 17, 2007 9:15 am

ollie,
one option would be to approach the landlord and offer to purchase his house. then you could tell elk and hog to ditch the fire.... or get other renters.
~bodhi
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Postby Anti-Cancer from New York » Sat Mar 17, 2007 8:29 pm

:shock: :shock: :? :( :evil: :evil:

dear gagging: i understand what you are going through. you might consider moving. you might have to sue your neighbors if you cannot sell your house. there was an article in the dec. 06 new york times newspaper. one guy sold his house for $220,000.00 . the new owner asked for all his money back because of the smoke from the outdoor wood boiler and the old owner had to sell his house for thirty thousand dollars less, so he sued his neighbor for the $30,000 and called it a public nuisance. you are in a rock and a hard place. you should definitely complain to all the state authorities so at least your complaint will be on record. or talk to your state assemblyman and write to your senator and congressman about your predicament and complain to the dept. of environmental conservation--although i complained and they don't do a damn thing. contact president bush, too.
Woodsmoke causes cancer. Woodsmoke kills. Cigarette smoke kills 1200 people a day in America. About 1 out of 2 people now have cancer in the United States. Without your health, you have nothing
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Postby Anti-Cancer from New York » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:21 pm

dear gagging: i found the best thing to do is to call your town supervisor and write a letter, complaining about the woodsmoke and the wood stove, and ask to get your smokey neighbors' woodstove banned, whatever kind it is. what kind of woodstove is it? call. or write to your town board and COMPLAIN! HAVE IT ON RECORD THAT THEIR STOVE IS A PUBLIC NUISANCE, AS ARE ALL OUTDOOR WOOD BOILERS.
PEOPLE WHO USE OUTDOOR WOOD BOILERS DO NOT SEEM TO CARE A PENNY ABOUT THEIR NEIGHBORS' HEALTH AND WELL-BEING. BUT WE NEIGHBORS HAVE A RIGHT TO HAPPINESS IN OUR OWN HOMES. OUTDOOR WOOD BOILER OWNERS ARE INFRINGING ON OUR RIGHTS TO CLEAN AIR IN OUR OWN HOMES AND YARDS; WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THAT AXIOM: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. IF YOU ARE BOTHERING YOUR NEIGHBOR WITH WOODSMOKE, WHY DON'T YOU GET RID OF THAT OUTDOOR WOOD BOILER, BEFORE IT GETS RID OF YOU?
Woodsmoke causes cancer. Woodsmoke kills. Cigarette smoke kills 1200 people a day in America. About 1 out of 2 people now have cancer in the United States. Without your health, you have nothing
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Postby Anti-Cancer from New York » Sun Mar 18, 2007 12:29 pm

THERE IS SOMEONE NAMED LORI STILTS, WHO I FOUND ON THE INTERNET--SHE SUED HER NEIGHBORS (WHO OWNED AN OUTDOOR WOOD BOILER THAT WAS SMOKING HER OUT) SUCCESSFULLY, FOR HER FAMILY'S DETERIORATING HEALTH . THEN SHE MOVED, AND THIS WAS OUT WEST SOMEWHERE.
THERE IS A WOMAN NAMED SHARON IN POUGHKEEPSIE WHO MOVED OUT OF HER HOUSE, BUT WENT TO HER TOWN TO FIGHT TO GET OUTDOOR WOOD BOILERS BANNED, AND SHE WAS SUCCESSFULL AGAINST A GREAT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO OPPOSED HER. SHE BROUGHT TO THEIR ATTENTION TTHE NESCAUM REPORT ON THIS WEBSITE, AND PREVIOUS ATTORNEY GENERAL ELIOT SPITZER' REPORT. IT PROBABLY HELPED THAT SHE WAS A LIBRARIAN. BUT STILL, THERE ARE SOME INDIVIDUALS, WHO COMPLAINED TO THEIR TOWNS, SUCH AS IN MARCELLUS, NEW YORK, AND THE TOWNS HAVE BEEN INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO BAN OUTDOOR WOOD BOILERS. WHAT YOU NEED IS AN INTELLIGENT AND CONCERNED AND CARING TOWN BOARD, WHICH IS ADMITTEDLY, HARD TO FIND.
Woodsmoke causes cancer. Woodsmoke kills. Cigarette smoke kills 1200 people a day in America. About 1 out of 2 people now have cancer in the United States. Without your health, you have nothing
Anti-Cancer from New York
 
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Postby bodhi » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:45 am

VT Woodburner wrote:In all my years of owning a woodstove, I have NEVER seen smoke "settle" in my neighbor's home. Never.


VT,
sadly, this does occur and it is one of the problems i hope to address and find solutions for on this board. the impact from the scenario described here is off the charts.
if the stove technology actually does improve then part of the impact can be reduced. some of the woodburners on this forum have stated that they feel woodburning is not appropriate in populated areas.
we need to find a solution that will produce maximum benefits for ALL
people involved.

~bodhi
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Postby begreen9 » Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:53 pm

There is no one solution for ALL situations.

Certainly, what is needed and appropriate in Point Arena or San Diego on the CA coast is not what would be required at higher latitudes, and the interior of the country, especially with temperatures well below 20 degrees. Agreed?

And in urban areas the need is different from suburban and rural areas, agreed?

What we all need is to face the fact that :

a) the world of cheap oil is ending
b) the US needs to wean itself from the fossil fuel lifestyle
c) we need to work together to achieve this goal

A little give and take can go a long way towards making this happen.
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I'm confused why it smokes after an hour

Postby ecofem » Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:16 pm

I am confused by the description of when their fire puts out a lot of smoke. Normally there is a little smoke while a fire is being started, but after it gets going, it should be burning very cleanly for hours. Most of the time that my stove is burning there is NOTHING visible coming out the chimney, mine is a high efficient EPA certified stove. Perhaps they are getting the fire going and then damp it all the way down because they are going to pass out and don't want to get up and put more wood in?!? Don't give up, try to chat with them about their burning methods. Maybe say you are interested in stoves and want to see how theirs works or something. Then give them advice on cleaner burning, namely dry, seasoned wood and a correct amount of air. I can shut my air supply all the way down eventually because I have a heck of a draft and it still burns well, but many stoves you can't shut it down all the way, or it smolders.

I can't imagine how the smoke settles into your house. The only time I noticed smoke in my own home was when my former small city still allowed leaf burning. To alleviate the problems from burning leaves in the fall, they allocated only certain days were for leaf burning. Of course everyone that burned then did it on the same day, and it smelled like something was burning inside my house. It was terrible outside, you could see the air all over, a sort of gray. But that was from wet smoldering piles of leaves being burned all over town. (They eventually banned it completely.) I can't see how one neighbor's wood stove would do that. Gagging, is it an indoor stove you are referring to, or an outdoor one?

I have just been walking all over my neighborhood asking people to vote for me in the spring election. Have discovered even more neighbors with wood stoves. I only find out by seeing their wood piles or by them mentioning it to me when I say I have one. No problems at all with smoke going into other people's houses. How bizarre that you have this problem. Start at the bottom, talk to the neighbors a few more times, be persistent. IF that doesn't work, talk to the landlord. If that fails, then consult your local authorities. It can get ugly if you go right for the law, there could be neighbor battles and so on. Better to resolve it peacefully if you can.
ecofem
 


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