2010 April 16: NJ Lawrence (Cumberland County): resident fired up over neighbor’s outdoor wood stove
April 16, 2010, 3:14PM
By Jean Jones
LAWRENCE TWP. — Outdoor wood-fired stoves have again become an issue in the township.
A couple of years ago, complaints about smoke from outdoor stoves used to pipe heat into homes caused the township to adopt an ordinance regulating their use, but Karen Fleury, who lives on Norris Avenue, said a neighbor uses an outdoor boiler at least eight months of the year and it produces an amount of smoke that is a health hazard.
“The fine particulate matter that gets in the house is more dangerous than cigarette smoke and you can’t keep it out,” Fleury said.
She said today’s wood stoves are built to produce less smoke, but the stove in question was installed in 1981. She also said people are using burn barrels to burn trash and burning wood just for outdoor activities, which she said was unnecessary.
Committeeman Elmer Bowman said outdoor burning of trash is illegal, but the forest fire service can issue permits for certain types of outdoor fire rings and the township has no control over that.
Fleury asked the township to adopt an ordinance requiring the owners of outdoor wood stoves to make them inoperable if they move.
“I’m breathing smoke 24 hours a day,” she said.
Jim Sharpless, who lives on Folsom Avenue, said a neighbor is pumping water from his basement and it is running into his yard and across a nearby road. While he sympathizes with the problem the neighbor has, he said the water is ruining the road.
Clerk Ruth Dawson said the road has been undermined by the steady flow of water and the road department has had to repair it. An attempt will be made to find a way to divert the water so it does not impact other properties or the road.
Bowman said he has had two pumps running 24 hours a day ever since the rain and snow began to cause flooding problems. His basement still has water in it.
“I have the only indoor pool in town,“ he joked.
Harry Renwick, of Renwick Associates, was present to answer any questions about new assessments from the recent revaluation.
Dan Connors reported that there had been a 90 percent inspection rate of properties with improvements. Representatives of the firm met with 362 people about 411 properties after notices of the new assessments were sent out. As of April 5, only six appeals had been filed, Connors said.
It was announced that April 19 to 21 will be bulky waste pick-up days. Those with bulky waste to be collected must contact the municipal hall at 447-4554 to schedule a pick-up.