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Town of Essex is considering restrictions on outdoor furnaces

ESSEX Some fires will never be lit if the town board of Essex has its way. Town of Essex officials are considering their first local law of the year, which would regulate the use of outdoor furnaces. Supervisor Ronald Jackson said the town started with Chesterfield's law, and then made some modifications to Essex size the bill. The law includes a clause which would ban the use within the Essex historic district. We didn't think we should have outdoor furnaces in the district. It's in a bowl, and the houses are so close together, said Jackson. Jackson added there were currently no outdoor furnaces within the historic district. The law states that: *Only firewood and untreated wood can be burned; *furnaces must have a set back of 200 feet from any other residence; *Stacks must be higher than the peak of the residence, and will not be required to exceed 24 feet; *New outdoor furnaces must meet any Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) Emission Standards. To construct a new furnace, the proposed law would require a building permit to be issued by the town. The form and fee are the same as any building permit, and would need approval by the code enforcement officer. People would also be able to see the zoning board of appeals if denied. The law would grandfather existing outdoor furnaces. Jackson said that when a furnace needs to be replaced, it would need to meet emission standards. Areas zoned in the hamlet and shoreline overlay areas can only operate between Sept. 1 and May 31. A public hearing on the furnaces is set for Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m., prior to the regular board meeting. Copies of the proposed law can be picked up at the town hall during office hours. I'd like to see even more people there, and get more input. I just think you get a better law, said Jackson. Jackson said that if there was no comment, he anticipated the law would pass. Creating the law was a preventative measure. We've had almost no complaints. We haven't had a lot of problems in Essex, but I've seen it happen in surrounding communities, said Jackson.

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