[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Pinellas County, Florida is a hot topic in the news on Monday, but it may not be the publicity they want. A council member was filmed over the weekend giving a warning to a resident that it is illegal for him to allow the smoke from his barbecue pit to leave his property. He also told him that continuing to do so would resort in potentially more serious consequences. The video has since gone viral.[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”5517620b381df”][vc_column_text]This is not a joke. This is not a satire piece from The Onion. A Pinellas County council member was seriously caught on tape explaining to a resident that he is breaking the law by allowing the barbecue smoke to leave his property.
The man in question apparently has a neighbor who lives across the street that has a beef with him. He said that every time he barbecues she calls the police and the fire department. However, according to the man, when others in their neighborhood barbecue, she does not complain.
On the FAQ section of the Pinellas County Environmental Air Quality section, there is a question that relates to this particular matter. In the section entitled ‘Smoke and Odors’ is the following:
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.
If you listen to what the county official who issued the warning to the barbecuing resident says, it is questionable, according to the county’s own rules, that he should have even been out there harassing the man for his barbecue smoke. He did not indicate that there was more than one complaint. In fact, he referenced only the one woman, who the man said has harassed him, and only him, for his barbecue smoke since she moved into the neighborhood three years earlier.
However, the city’s own policy says “if a sufficient number of complaints, representing different households, are reported and an Inspector witnesses the problem, they can issue a Warning Letter.”[/vc_column_text][banner300 banner=”553157113d3ff”][vc_column_text]While the city official did claim to witness smoke leaving the man’s property, though not necessarily visibly seeing it reach the complaining neighbors home, there appears to have only been one complaint, which was by the woman who the man says has harassed him about his barbecuing for three years.
The entire thing is ludicrous and is a perfect example of an out of control big government, even at the local level, which desires to rule over every single aspect of your life.
The video is just over five minutes long, but is worth watching. Warning, there are expletives in the video, though the men handled themselves better than many would have given the ridiculousness of this complaint and ‘law.’
h/t 95.3 The Bear
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