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Author Topic: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill  (Read 8587 times)

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Offline 03westernstar

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Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« on: September 26, 2014, 12:22:00 AM »
 >:(  After getting my mill a Frick 00 set up and cutting in the woods behind my house i had a county inspector and a county deputy knocking on my door asking where my sawmill was and that he had received numerous complaints saying i was disturbing the ''daytime piece''  during the day on weekends (I live on 22 acres with about mile of road front and my mill was in the center of my property  and the nearest house is about a mile away with no subdivisions) he said he had a warrant to search the property and see the sawmill,so not wanting to get into an altercation we walked back to the millsite. I figured maybe once he saw it wasent a super duper production mill and it was just a hobby he would let me be, but he said i had 28 days to ''Cease all operations of an unpermitted permanent sawmill", he said if the mill wasent "Anchored" to the ground and if it was "portable" i could have a sawmill,so i proceeded to tell him it was a portable Frick sawmill but with no avail, he would be back in 28 days to see the result.  That following day i was at the county office getting the laws and ordinances on a sawmill and checking to see if everything he said was strait, Which with my luck everything he said was right,i came home with enough papers to fill my passenger seat, The ordinance stated if the sawmill is on wheels and not anchored down it is fully legal to have and operate between 7am-8pm unless its a business in which you need a business permit. With all of this info i am set out to show this inspector i am going to cut lumber on my own "PORTABLE'' ''LEGAL" Sawmill which you dont need a permit for.
 I am sort of thinking it wont be hard to make my mill portable and then i wont have to hide it in the woods i can move it up beside my shop, i Knew you weren't suppose to have a sawmill  :D in the county but i figured what little bit im going to run ill be fine.
 But i suppose i was wrong . :(
I WILL Post a RE-BUILD thread With PICTURES of my Frick mill. 8)

Offline redprospector

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2014, 12:44:37 AM »
I sympathize with you. I'm going through some similar things right now.
For a "Free Country" that's supposed to cherish our "Liberties", we sure seem to have a lot of local and county ordinances, and state and federal laws that restrict our "Freedom, and Liberty".  :o :( >:(
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Offline kderby

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2014, 01:01:33 AM »
Of all the problem neighbors in the world you had to have a hobby sawmill? ;D ;D ;D  I can think of worse! ::)

Keep your chin up and see your way past this.  Sounds like the inspector is afraid of the complainer.  He thinks he has to put his foot down.

What kind of county, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, does not allow sawmills?

He can get a warrant to be on your property after a complaint?  Does he serve the public or do the people have to serve him?

Are there variance or acceptable conditions that you could arrive at?

Sorry for your troubles.  Play the game, to a point, but get back to making sawdust.  Sawdust is good nutrition!

Kderby

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2014, 05:09:21 AM »
At least you can have one. I had a guy come here from Kittery,ME,if I remember right, and he can not have one at all. The town banned all sawmills years ago. He said there was a guy that had a business with a circular mill. Slabs and lumber everywhere. Town did not like the way that looked. When he died,the town said no saw mills.
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Offline AnthonyW

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2014, 05:37:37 AM »
The zoning ordinances of my town include a list of permitted uses for each zone. The zone I am in does not permit the establishment to operate a sawmill. After review by a lawyer establishment = business. Me <> (not equal) business, therefore as long as I am not operating the sawmill as a business I can own and use a sawmill on my property. It does not specify portable or permanent, just sawmill.

You could always apply for a variance.
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Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2014, 06:06:08 AM »
Sawmilling is looked upon as an extension of an agricultural business in PA.  Its also looked upon as being a primary producer, and you can get an exemption from sales tax.  PA is a right to farm state, so that makes a lot of those local ordinances obsolete.  That also means that they can't prevent you from logging. 

Here's a sawmill on wheels:
 

 
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Offline FarmingSawyer

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2014, 06:46:19 AM »
At least you can have one. I had a guy come here from Kittery,ME,if I remember right, and he can not have one at all. The town banned all sawmills years ago. He said there was a guy that had a business with a circular mill. Slabs and lumber everywhere. Town did not like the way that looked. When he died,the town said no saw mills.

I started reading this thread thinking, "Thank God we live in Maine....." But I see idiocy creeps in everywhere......I sometimes get irrigated at the gravel pit behind where I'm living....it's a mile away and I can here it into the night sometimes.....but then I remember I hate Nimbys....... I spent 20 years in the San Juan Islands of Washington State..... You could hear the sawmill I worked at across the water for miles....There was beginning to be talk of limiting/banning them. Then the sawmill sold--I couldn't afford to buy it, nor could I afford the land to put it on..... I am glad I moved from there...... I was a little amazed that where I was working in Poland (don't make the mistake the local lawyer did when trying to sue me for not completing a job the landowner blocked me from returning too.....because I had traveled to Poland and was "gone"...... :D Don't know what Maine boy doesn't know of Poland MAINE!!) for a few weeks that my 7am start didn't have the neighbors flooding out of their McMansions like bees to shut me down......that or the blue air every time I hit hardware......
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Offline clww

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 08:44:53 AM »
It saddens me that so many counties of our Commonwealth are getting so stupid with self-serving ordinances and foolish laws.
You can park it on our property in Highland County any time.
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Offline ddcuning

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 09:05:43 AM »
And they can't understand why there are lots of us so sick of government!

In Chatham County NC, you can have a sawmill with no restrictions as long as it isn't a business. If it is a business, it has to be on a specific size lot (20acres I think), zoned commercial/industrial and you have to get it permitted. Otherwise, you just have to meet the noise ordinances which is 65dBa at the property line during certain hours. My mill is only 50ft from the property line. I had the sheriff look mine over and basically he said "if you have a muffler, you meet the noise ordinances". The very liberal neighbor behind me was trying to sue me to stop me running the mill. Luckily in my case, the sheriff took my side and told the neighbor to let it go.

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Offline ely

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 09:10:41 AM »
the deputy "said" he had a warrant to search the property... if it were me I would told him to produce said warrant... because without the warrant he would be in violation of your rights... until you invited him onto your land.
I could not imagine living in a county like you describe.
if your neighbors don't like your sawmill I bet they would crap their collective pants when I fired up my airboat.

I would bet a dollar to a donut that the offended neighbor that is complaining is a busy body that is kin to some higher up in the county.

Offline blade69001

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #10 on: September 26, 2014, 09:15:30 AM »
 This makes me feel blessed, I ran my gas powered resaw in my garage in my neighborhood for about six months. Not once did I get a complaint.
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Offline BBK

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2014, 09:47:48 AM »
Sawmilling is looked upon as an extension of an agricultural business in PA.  Its also looked upon as being a primary producer, and you can get an exemption from sales tax.  PA is a right to farm state, so that makes a lot of those local ordinances obsolete.  That also means that they can't prevent you from logging. 

Here's a sawmill on wheels:
 

 (Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia have "Right to Farm Acts". Virginia recently modified theirs. You may want to check into the zoning for your area. If it has any provisions for agriculture use you may be exempt from local ordinances.

Good luck.
I love Farming, Logging, Sawmilling, Fishing, and Hunting.

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2014, 10:18:02 AM »
My town allows a mill as an ancillary activity on a farm. I wouldn't want to try and got too big, however.
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Offline hunz

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2014, 10:32:40 AM »
If all else fails I would get part of your land rezoned commercial. I recently had to do that for an event facility business my wife and I run, now we have no more griping from code enforcement. Its kind of a sucky process with having to meet in front of a formal zoning board, giving reasons why you want to change it, why it is good for the local economy etc.....

  I would have asked for a warrant myself. I have never heard of a code enforcement officer having the same rights as a law man..just doesn't seem right to me.

A funny story that happened recently:

A close friend of my wife's(woman) was home alone during the day when the county tax assessors showed up at her place after their new home was built. Apparently they were making rounds on new residences to check on bed/bth and sq/ft #'s to assess the value. They first asked to come in until they saw her gun. She met them at the door with a .357 magnum.....she made sure to let them know she had it. They didn't stay long! Myself, I don't care who you are, if you come unannounced on my farm, who will most likely see me openly displaying my gun until you show me valid I'd/ warrant.

A big problem I see today, is Americans are unaware of their "own" rights. These county officials are your servants, not the other way around. You are doing a good job so far, keep it up, and I'm sure you will prevail. I would recommend a "Posted" sign at any entrance to your property, a gate would also help. Only way in for them is to B&E without a warrant. You'd find out if they had one then.


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Offline Leigh Family Farm

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2014, 12:27:49 PM »
Such a shame to go through this...

1) Did you get a copy of the warrant?
2) Does the sawmill have to be on wheels to be considered portable? Farmers will put chicken coops, hoop houses, and small sheds on skids so they are not permanent structures, thus not taxable. Could you put your sawmill on skids and show that you can move it?
3) Do the wheels have to be useable? Meaning, the wheels you put on the sawmill actually have to allow for the sawmill to be moved.
There are no problems; only solutions we haven't found yet.

Offline JJ

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2014, 03:12:29 PM »
About 25 years ago, I had waterfront owner near me build few weekly rental cottages too close to water line.
When he was told to remove the permanent structures he lag bolted rims with tires to each one.  ::)

It didn't fly, so now there is permanent trailer park of travel trailers there.  Several are quite old.

I look up images of portable Frick sawmills, and some have wheels, but others don't look like they will move easily.
Good luck with your local goverment.

        JJ

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2014, 04:04:37 PM »
Do any of the ordinances define what portable is?

To the US Army and the Forest Service a full size production circular mill is considered portable because once they are done in an area they can take it apart and move it.

I would think if you can prove that you can move it; on wheels, skids, lift it on to a trailer with a crane, ect.  it would/could be called portable.


Offline Ianab

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2014, 06:26:27 PM »
I think you have the out you need as the regs say portable IS allowed. Does it specify wheels, or just say portable? I mean my mill is super portable, but has no wheels. You pick up the individual parts and load them on a pickup.

But it it does specify "wheels" then you just bolt an old truck axle under one end and a drawer bar on the other. Doesn't have to be roadworthy or anything, just something you can drag around behind a tractor if you want it moved.  It will look something like Ron's pic, and that looks "portable" to me.

This will be a lot less grief than fighting over it. If you start pulling the "you need a warrant" stuff, you will be picking a fight. They will just come back with a warrant and police backup, and make a Mt out of a molehill. Easier to make it obviously portable, show the guy the copy of the regs, show him that the mill is obviously "portable", and wish him a nice day. He can go back to the office, close the complaint off as "Investigated, machinery complies with regulations, no further action needed."

Ian
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Offline Buddyw

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #18 on: September 26, 2014, 07:54:47 PM »
Slip a set of wheels under it like mine.
I have a Frick 01 (portable) mill.
This picture was taken just after I set the husk frame/carriage assembly on its foundation.
The tires are still on it but, they are not touching the ground.

 

Offline Don_Papenburg

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Re: Battle with the County and my Circle Mill
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2014, 11:17:34 PM »
You are young yet ,  Run for a seat on the county board , 
try to replace the stupid laws /regs  with common sense suggestions.

Aaron Schock started at 17 running for Peoria county school board and has not lost a race yet .  He is now in the state legislature.  It all started because of stupid rules placed on students by the board of ed and admins.
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