There’s a new threat people want the government to put an end to: barbecue smell. Yes, the smell of barbecues grilling meat. There’s video out of Florida of a Pinellas County Environmental specialist talking to someone about the BBQ smoke and smell leaving his property. Video is below and is NSFW due to language.
It should be noted there is a little bit of a dispute on why the county visited the homeowner. SaintPetersBlog.com got an email from Pinellas County Administrator Mark Woodard pointing out the homeowner is using heavy-duty equipment.
Woodard explained to county commissioners that the incident was not isolated, but part of an ongoing problem with Jordan using commercial grilling equipment in a residential neighborhood.
Graham was responding to a series of grievances — 15 individual smoke and odor complaints since September 2014 – related to Jordan’s home, which up to that point, had not resulted in a single county citation. Fourteen of the complaints did come from one neighbor.
The only citation was in 2014, by the City of St. Petersburg.
In June, officials also attempted to “address the numerous complaints and educate the homeowner,” with an advisory letter to the property owner detailing various county and state regulations regulating open burning.
This provides some context into the issue, but it also shows a problem with Pinellas County’s regulations on nuisance odors (emphasis mine):
What about smoke and odors from backyard barbecues?
Commercial barbecue cookers are not exempt from causing a nuisance odor. If a sufficient number of complaints, representing different households, are reported and an Inspector witnesses the problem, they can issue a Warning Letter.
What can Air Quality do about smoke and odors from restaurants?
An Inspector can often resolve these complaints by making the source aware of the problem and letting them know a complaint has been registered. A restaurant can change its operating practices, improve maintenance of its cooking equipment, or install odor control equipment. Restaurants are not exempt from causing nuisance odors. If a sufficient number of complaints, representing different households, are reported and an Inspector witnesses the problem, they can issue a Warning Letter.
In this situation 14 out of 15 complaints came from one household. It’s possible the neighbor was able to get another homeowner to file a complaint so she could get the barbecuing changed or just completely stamped out. Pinellas County certainly isn’t the only place to have complaints made about the smell of barbecue. People in Austin, Texas were able to get the City Council to consider an ordinance seriously restricting how smoke comes out of barbecue restaurants. City Councilman Sabino Renteria told KXAN it was all about making the neighborhood livable.
The smoke is just overwhelming. It goes into the neighborhood and lingers there. And the people are getting upset and saying, ‘We can’t sit in our backyards. We can’t open up our windows; the smoke comes in there.
The city council did briefly sign off on the ordinance, but Renteria pulled it because of the strong opposition he was getting. A blog did recently claim the ban was brought back up, but that doesn’t appear to be true. It’s still disturbing at how people are willing to run to the government for help on a problem where their input isn’t really needed at all. There are plenty of ways to get the smell of smoke out of the air, whether it be from plants or smoke eating candles or smoke eating devices. The free market is taking care of the issue, without government involvement at all.
This is why local and state elections are as important as federal ones. If leftists and statists get put into power, it becomes more possible for others to target people just because they wanted to smoke meat outside. Or have a gas well in their yard. Or smoke inside apartments or restaurants. Or vape. This is all about regulating the choices of others under the guise of “keeping people safe.” There are those who argue “the public good” is important, but when it comes to things happening on private property, why does it matter about “public good”? Is it wise to put a gas well 15 feet away from a home? Probably not, but if someone wants to they should be able to. Is it smart to take children into a smoke-filled restaurant or smoke-filled home? No, but people don’t have to go inside. It’s the focus on taking away the rights of others, which really shows just how much power the government wants and people are unfortunately willing to give.