Neighbor's backyard pizza oven

Personal Situations - Problems or Solutions.

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Neighbor's backyard pizza oven

Postby smokeyinNJ » Mon Sep 24, 2007 6:48 am

Hello,

This is my first post to this forum. My neighbor has a backyard pizza oven which she uses to bake bread for sale as a small business.

It is in use at least twice a week for four hour periods and occasionally on weekends.

We live in a densly populated town on .2 acre plots in a valley location. Her house is two away from mine. When my windows are open, her smoke flooods into my house. Even with the windows tightly shut, the smoke still comes in. Her chimney stack is only about 5 feet tall.

I waited to say anything hoping she would lose interest in baking the bread, or she wouldn't find the business profitable, but she seems to be in it for the long haul.

I dropped off a copy of "The Health Effects of Wood Smoke" at her door and plan to talk to her about my concerns. I feel that she should be worried about the health of her own family as she has four children under the age of 13.

I don't know if my town has ordinances against backyard ovens or home based businesses. I want to try to resolve it without getting the town involved.

This family are very nice people and many of the other neighbors in the community enjoy the bread (but they don't live so close to the oven.) I've talked to some of the other neighbors and they don't find the smoke to be a problem. I think my house is getting the bulk of the smoke and it's diffused by the time it reaches their homes.

I would post a picture if this site permits it.

Any suggestions?
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Postby FriendofAir » Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:47 am

I think you are on the right track. Start with a conversation. You could suggest alternative baking devices or alternative fuel sources.

If that doesn't work, try to figure out if the prevailing winds change directions during the day. If so, suggest they do their baking when the wind blows toward your other neighbors and let them deal with it. (Many people are oblivious to changes in their surroundings, especially background noise and smoke).
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pizza business

Postby bodhi » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:43 am

this situation sounds like a zoning offense.
call the city and check it out.
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Postby smokeyinNJ » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:47 am

Is it permitted to post photos at this site from photobucket?
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Postby MPA » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:58 am

As bodhi referred to; she may/may not have the proper license to run a business from her home. In most cities businesses must pay a business license renewal on a yearly basis. IE Uncle SAM wants his cut of a business in tax dollars. If there is no business license then she cannot run the business from her home. I would check into this avenue first before even confronting her. If this were the case notify your city clerk or city manager's office.

Of course she could deny all business allegations and claim it is for personal use or sells on ebay.....
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Postby smokeyinNJ » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:00 am

Ah, I answered bmy own question by consulting the FAQ.

Here's a photo from Friday, Sept 21 in the morning taken from my backyard. The top of the chimney stack can be seen in the center next to a small tree.

Image
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Postby smokeyinNJ » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:11 am

Thanks for your responses.

I don't want to create a problem with my neighbors (who are very, very nice people) or to involve the town. I want to keep the problem low profile. I'm trying to think of some solutions to keep everybody happy.

Here are some I've considered.

1) Pay to build a chimney higher than the roof.

2) Find a local farmer willing to host the oven in return for free bread and then pay to relocate the oven.

3) Ask her to bake in the regular home oven until solutions 1 or 2 are reached.

4) Find out what her actual profits are and pay her *not* to bake.
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Postby FriendofAir » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:17 am

Image[/quote]

Lovely.

I think more photos on the forum will help "clarify" problems folks are experiencing. Thanks for taking the time to attach.

Both the users of fireplaces, fire pits and pizza ovens etc and their neighbors are mostly oblivious to the amount of pollution these devices inject into the neighborhood. Since most of the burning is done under cover of darkness, providing evidence such as this becomes more difficult.

Before contacting authorities, bring this picture along and suggest that they find alternative methods for production.
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Postby FriendofAir » Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:24 am

smokeyinNJ wrote:Thanks for your responses.

Here are some I've considered.

1) Pay to build a chimney higher than the roof.



A higher chimney may help a bit, but as you can tell from the picture, the smoke is already beginning to trend across and down towards the ground. Smoke like this can stink up the downwind neighborhood for one or two city blocks, chimney or not.
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Postby woodburner » Mon Sep 24, 2007 11:22 am

FriendofAir wrote:
smokeyinNJ wrote:Thanks for your responses.

Here are some I've considered.

1) Pay to build a chimney higher than the roof.



A higher chimney may help a bit, but as you can tell from the picture, the smoke is already beginning to trend across and down towards the ground. Smoke like this can stink up the downwind neighborhood for one or two city blocks, chimney or not.


A higher chimney will virtually eliminate your problem. There may be some occasions where smoke can be smelt for a little while, but not often.
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Postby bodhi » Mon Sep 24, 2007 12:00 pm

woodburner wrote:A higher chimney will virtually eliminate your problem. There may be some occasions where smoke can be smelt for a little while, but not often.


sorry woodburner, i don't agree with your conclusion. (not even a tiny little bit)
there is no way a taller stack can compete with wind, geography and temperature inversions. as i said elsewhere just spend 10 minutes in ashland or klamath falls, oregon to experience the impotence of tall stacks. they are useless and a waste of time and money. (unless they reach beyond the weather systems and gravity of planet earth)
unfortunately, woodburning in a populated area makes no sense.
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Postby Wilberforce » Mon Sep 24, 2007 3:49 pm

Why on earth does anyone need a wood-fueled oven to bake bread? I've been baking bread and pizza in a
gas oven for years, and the food turns out quite well. In fact, I have a really great pizza recipe, so I've been
told: (it rivals the best of 'em!) Could this woman be burning her bread? (hence the smoke)
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Postby woodburner » Tue Sep 25, 2007 6:30 am

Wood fired brick oven pizza is quite tasty. However, I don't think that this residential neighborhood is the place for her commercial operation of any kind, especially one like this. I'm sure a quick call to your town and they'll tell her to stop it.
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Postby skybox » Tue Sep 25, 2007 2:37 pm

Unbelievable! What in the world are these people thinking?

Roger
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Postby Wilberforce » Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:37 pm

smokeyinNJ:

No, No, No! I would definitely NOT call the city...just yet. Go meet these people and
get to know them. Hint around that they are creating a problem for you. Nine out of ten
people will respect your wishes, and will stop the activity that is offensive to you.
Only for that tenth person (who might be a gangster) I would call the city first, to be safe.
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