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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2018
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    Roasting Smoke and Odor

    Hello Everyone,

    I have decided to take on coffee roasting as a side venture. I plan on purchasing a 2 kg roaster and operating out of my home in a strictly residential district. I met with our city zoning and planning office and will be going in front on the zoning hearing board to gain approval to roast. The sticking point for approval is the smoke and smell. The city ordinance does not permit noxious odors as a result of a home business. They have limited experience in dealing with coffee roasting and I must prove before the board that odor will not be an issue. I know afterburners can be used, but I am doing this as a hobbyist to make a little extra money and afterburners are expensive.

    Does anyone have experience in dealing with city ordinances related to odor caused by roasting? What can I provide the city to ensure their concerns are met? I live in a small neighborhood where the homes are all on roughly 0.4 acres and have decent separation. There are roughly 12 homes on my block.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    Aug 2003
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    Boca Raton
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    3,308
    2 kilo roaster puts off about as much smoke as a barbecue grill. I have never heard of anyone needing an afterburner for a 2 kilo roaster. Let us know what they say. If they require one let us know. I found an alternate pollution controller for the fraction of a gas operated one at the fraction of the cost.
    Last edited by topher; 03-25-2018 at 07:15 AM.
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  3. #3
    sae
    sae is offline
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    can you provide details on this pollution controller alternative?

  4. #4
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    I spoke with Mike Kelley at https://www.air-quality-eng.com/ .
    "Wine is for aging, not coffee."
    Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    54
    I roast about 100# a week on a 5# roaster in my garage. The houses are on 1 acre lots and everyone downwind knows when I'm roasting. But I don't roast too dark and the smell is wonderful. It's like coffee cotton candy.

    I applied through the home occupation ordinance in my municipality and the only potential issue was the "nuisance clause" which includes noise and odors. Basically, if someone complains, I have a problem. My neighbor downwind has chickens, so with his roosters crowing at 4am and my roasting in the evening, we're even.

    So I don't think you need to prove to anyone that your endeavor will not be an issue. They'll just tell you that if someone complains, something will need to be done.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Ferrum, Virginia USA
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    12
    I had an issue when I started my business. I converted the front part of my garage into my roasting area. When I applied for a permit, the town expressed concern that my "smoke and oder" was going to infringe on my neighbors. Although I was in a residential area, there was a restaurant across the main road from me and we could smell the food being cooked from there, so I sited that as an example and asked whether they had been held to the same concerns. The town told me that that was different and that I shouldn't concern myself with that. Well, needless to say, that annoyed me somewhat. I went to all my neighbors and asked them to sign something that let the town know that they would be bothered by the coffee roasting smells. ALL of them enthusiastically sign the document, and a couple of them even write separate letters t the Town Manager stating that they actually loved the smell and that they had no issue. I eventually got my permit...hope this helps...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2014
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    103
    Quote Originally Posted by topher View Post
    I spoke with Mike Kelley at https://www.air-quality-eng.com/ .

    We worked with AQE to develop this: https://millcityroasters.com/shop/ro...s/smokemaster/
    Steve Green
    Mill City Roasters

  8. #8
    sae
    sae is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by MillCityRoasters View Post
    We worked with AQE to develop this: https://millcityroasters.com/shop/ro...s/smokemaster/
    That looks really cool!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2017
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    NYC
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    185
    You should be fine with that size roaster honestly.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Mar 2018
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    Thank you everyone for your input. We recently went in front of our zoning board and received approval. We will need to address any odor or nuisance issues if they arise but can now move forward with our roaster purchase.

 

 

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