Point of sale woodstove ordinance possible
Homeowners take heed – a planning commission proposal headed for town council consideration could add more than $1,000 to closing costs when selling a house that contains a non-EPA-certified woodstove.
The proposal, to be considered as part of the Truckee Air Quality Management Plan, would require the replacement of older woodstoves with new, EPA-certified models before homes could be sold. Homeowners would also have the option of simply removing and discarding the old stove.
“We’re trying to address some of the concerns of the real estate community on what their role is in the process,” Town Planner Duane Hall said. “We’ve been looking at programs in other communities and it can vary in implementation.”
Hall said one advantage of replacing the stove at the point of sale is that the replacement is done at the time the house is sold.
“If it was a mandatory change-out of all uncertified woodstoves in a specified time frame, that would incur more hardships,” Hall said. “This way, the buyer and seller can decide who would be responsible and whether they would simply remove it or replace it with a new stove.”
Other communities in the Sierra Nevada have had similar programs, including Quincy, Reno and Mammoth Lakes.
Hall said the town would have financial assistance programs in place to aid homeowners who qualified. The town received $300,000 in air quality mitigation funds as a result of the merger of Union Pacific and Southern Pacific railroads, and has used interest from that fund for other woodstove replacement programs, including the “Great Stove Change-out” drive for the past two years.
“The air quality management plan says we have to put in a financial incentive program to help homeowners remove their obsolete woodstoves,” Hall said.
Truckee is plagued by poor air quality in the winter months, because of temperature inversion, which traps smoke and other particulate pollution at street level in downtown and central Truckee.
Hall said the worst air quality reading in 12 years was taken on April 3 – a reading of 221 micrograms per cubic meter of air. The federal standard for particulate air pollution is 150 micrograms per cubic meter of air.
The proposal to enforce point-of-sale replacement of obsolete woodstoves was approved unanimously by the planning commission June 9.
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This story will be updated as more votes are counted. The results must be certified by Oct. 22.