[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Carmel 5-11-2011 by L.L. No. 3-2011. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Carmel has received numerous complaints in regard to outdoor wood-burning furnaces concerning their pollution of the atmosphere and their safety. Although outdoor wood-burning furnaces may provide an economical alternative to conventional heating systems, it is generally recognized that the types of fuel used, and the scale and duration of burning by outdoor wood-burning furnaces, creates noxious and hazardous smoke, soot, fumes, odors and air pollution, can be detrimental to citizens' health and can deprive neighboring residents of the enjoyment of their property or premises. Therefore, it is the intention of the Town Board of the Town of Carmel to establish and impose restrictions upon the construction and operation of outdoor wood-burning furnaces for the purpose of securing and promoting the public health, comfort, convenience, safety, welfare and prosperity of the Town and its inhabitants. This chapter is intended to prohibit the construction and/or installation of any further outdoor wood-burning furnaces and to ensure that existing outdoor wood-burning furnaces are utilized in a manner that does not create a nuisance and is not detrimental to the health, safety and general welfare of the residents of the Town.
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority, of Article 2, § 10 of the New York State Municipal Home Rule Law.
The Town of Carmel Director of Codes Enforcement, Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer, or any other person who may hereafter be designated by resolution of the Town Board is hereby authorized in the name and on behalf of the Town of Carmel to undertake and prosecute any proceedings necessary or appropriate to enforce compliance with this chapter including the issuance of appearance tickets.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Trunks and branches of trees and bushes, but does not include leaves, needles, vines or brush smaller than three inches in diameter.
- OUTDOOR WOOD-BURNING FURNACE
- Any equipment, device or apparatus, or any part thereof, which is installed, affixed or situated outdoors for the primary purpose of combustion of wood fuel to produce heat or energy used as a component of a heating system providing heat and/or hot water for any interior space in any principal structure or any other interior or exterior site, building, or structure.
- STACK or CHIMNEY
- Any vertical structure enclosing a flue or flues that carry off smoke or exhaust from a solid fuel-fired heating device; especially that part of such structure extending above the roof.
- UNTREATED LUMBER
- Dry wood which has been milled and dried but which has not been treated or combined with any petroleum product, chemical, preservative, glue, adhesive, stain, paint or other substance.
- VIOLATOR or ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER
- Any person who owns or occupies the property at the time the outdoor wood boiler has been installed and/or operated.
The construction and/or installation of any new outdoor wood-burning furnaces are hereby prohibited in any zone within the Town of Carmel.
Except as hereinafter provided, the lawful use of any outdoor wood-burning furnace which is legally permitted and existing at the time of the adoption of this chapter may be continued, subject to the provisions of this section.
No outdoor wood boiler, lawfully existing or in existence at the time of the adoption of this chapter, shall thereafter be extended, enlarged or replaced with a new or previously owned unit or restored or repaired beyond 50% of its value.
Any existing outdoor wood-burning furnace which is abandoned or discontinued for a period of seven consecutive months shall not be permitted to be reestablished and must be immediately removed by the property owner from the subject premises. If the property owner fails to remove the outdoor wood-burning furnace by the end of said seven-consecutive-month period, the Town of Carmel Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector shall give written notice by certified mail or personal service to the owner of the property upon which the outdoor wood-burning furnace is located. Such notice shall provide that said owner shall remove the outdoor wood-burning furnace within 15 days of the date the notice is either postmarked or personally served upon the owner. Should the outdoor wood-burning furnace not be removed within the time specified, the Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector shall take reasonable steps to effect its removal. The costs incurred by the Town to effect said removal, including attorneys' fees, shall be charged to the owner of said premises. Said expense shall be paid by the owner of the property so affected within 30 days from the date said costs are presented to the owner. If said expense is not paid within said thirty-day time frame, then said expense shall be charged to the property so affected by including such expense in the next annual Town tax levy against the property.
All outdoor wood-burning furnaces lawfully permitted and in existence on the effective date of this chapter shall be permitted to remain, provided that the owner applies for and receives a permit from the Town Building Inspector within six months of the effective date of this chapter to comply with provisions governing the use and existence of outdoor wood-burning furnaces set forth herein. If the owner of an existing outdoor wood-burning furnace does not receive a permit within six months of the effective date of this chapter, the outdoor wood-burning furnace shall be removed. "Existing" or "in existence" means that the outdoor wood-burning furnace is legally permitted, existing, in place and operational on the effective date of this chapter. Application for a permit shall be made to the Building Inspector on the forms provided.
All existing outdoor wood-burning furnaces which receive permits from the Building Inspector shall be subject to the following regulations which constitute continuing conditions for the permit:
Permitted fuel. Only firewood and untreated lumber are permitted to be burned in any outdoor wood-burning furnace. Burning of any and all other materials, including but not limited to trash, plastics, gasoline, rubber, household garbage, material treated with petroleum products such as particle board, railroad ties and pressure-treated wood, leaves, paper products and cardboard, in an outdoor wood-burning furnace is prohibited.
Stack height. Outdoor wood-burning furnaces shall be equipped with a permanent stack extending a minimum of two feet above the peak of any roof structure located within 150 feet of the outdoor wood boiler and no less than 18 feet above ground level.
Months of operation. Outdoor wood-burning furnaces shall be operated only between October 1 and April 30.
Spark arrestors. All outdoor wood-burning furnaces shall be equipped with properly functioning spark arrestors which shall be maintained in proper working order at all times.
Lighter fluids, gasoline or chemicals may not be used to start the furnace and are prohibited.
Any permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended by the Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector to protect the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Carmel if any of the conditions in § 107-7 is violated. A suspended permit may be reinstated once the condition which resulted in suspension is remedied. Recurrence of a condition which has previously resulted in suspension of a permit shall be considered a violation of this chapter subject to the penalties provided in § 107-9 hereof.
In addition to the provision set forth in Subsection A above, any permit issued pursuant to this chapter may be suspended when, in the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer/Building Inspector, such suspension is warranted to protect and preserve the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Town of Carmel.
Failure to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter shall be a violation and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or imprisonment for a period of not more than 10 days, or both, for the first offense. Any subsequent offense shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $1,000 or imprisonment for a period of not more than 30 days, or both. In addition, any permit issued pursuant to this chapter shall be revoked upon conviction of a second offense and the subject outdoor wood-burning furnace shall not be eligible for another permit and shall be removed. Each day that a violation occurs shall constitute a separate offense. The owners of premises upon which prohibited acts occur shall be jointly and severally liable for violations of this chapter.
Compliance with the provisions of this chapter may also be compelled and violations restrained by order or by injunction of a court of competent jurisdiction.
In the event the Town is required to take legal action to enforce the provisions of this chapter, the violator will be responsible for any and all necessary costs incurred by the Town relative thereto, including attorneys' fees, and such amount shall be determined and assessed by the court.
Any fine imposed and any costs incurred hereunder shall constitute a lien upon the real property where the outdoor wood-burning furnace is located. If such fine and/or costs assessed by the court are not paid in full within 30 days from the date determined and assessed by the Court, such fine and/or costs shall be charged to the property so affected by including such expense in the next annual Town tax levy against the property.
Nothing contained herein shall authorize or allow burning which is prohibited by codes, laws, rules or regulations promulgated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or any other federal, state, regional or local agency. Outdoor wood-burning furnaces, and any electrical, plumbing or other apparatus or device used in connection with an outdoor wood-burning furnace, shall be installed, operated and maintained in conformity with the manufacturer's specifications and any and all local, state and federal codes, laws, rules and regulations. In case of a conflict between any provision of this chapter and any applicable federal, state or local ordinances, codes, laws, rules or regulations, the more restrictive or stringent provision or requirement shall prevail.
Any outdoor wood furnace must also comply with any other county, state or federal guidelines for the same.
Section 59-49D of the Town Code is hereby repealed.
This chapter shall take effect immediately in accordance with the law of the State of New York.