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Help with HOA restriction on charcoal grills!

boilerUpboilerUp Posts: 6
edited August 2011 in Forum List

I’m currently running into an issue with my HOA around
charcoal grills being prohibited in the building.  I’ll start off with some background info.  I live in Chicago in a 5 story building and my
balcony is on the 4th floor and is made of concrete.  I purchased a Large BGE in May of 2010.  Recently they’ve distributed the rules and
regulations and are making everyone sign a form saying they acknowledge the
rules.  One of the rules in all caps is
that charcoal/wood grills aren’t allowed (but gas grills are allowed).  I’m not sure if it is a new rule or not (I
should have checked before I bought BGE but I couldn’t resist).

Any suggestions for ways around getting around this?  Safety studies?  Documentation of some sort?  I haven’t asked why this rule is in place yet
because I wanted to be prepared beforehand. 
Hopefully I can find some kind of loophole or get an exemption.

Thanks in advance.



  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,706
    I think you first need to find out you signed when you bought your unit.  If that restriction wasn't in what you signed then they can't pass a new rule and make it retroactive.  I'm not a lawyer but am also part of an HOA.  Luckily we have no such restrictions.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • Before you bother with the HOA fight, make sure that the prohibition on charcoal grills is simply the HOA's rule, and not just an explicit re-statement of a local jurisdiction's fire code.  Also know that it may be required by the building's hazard insurance policy.  Before you ask for waiver, find out why the rule is in place.  Call a board representative; there may be extremely good reasons for the policy.
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    edited August 2011
    Buy a big POS gasser and put the egg behind it. Worse case, you'd be in the same boat if you were caught.

    Tough to burn concrete, real tough.

    What is the exterior of the bldg?
  • Thanks guys.  I appreciate the help so far.  I'll look into further.

    Building is glass and concrete exterior.
  • BotchBotch Posts: 6,326
    Don't bother with a full gasser, just buy an empty propane bottle and run a hose to a bolt on your Nest or something.
    I'm being funny here, don't actually do it and get kicked out!  
    Live fast, die young, and leave a well-marbled corpse.  
    Ogden, Utard.  
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,130
    How long have you lived in the building? One possibility would be to run for your Boad of Directors. They're the ones who make the rules, maybe you can get that one changed.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • As of right now they have just told me "Huge fire hazard".  I followed up by asking if it's around insurance purposes or just an HOA decision. 
  • onedbguruonedbguru Posts: 1,549
    as to "huge fire hazard" - no more so than the gasser's.. My son-in-law has melted his cheap piece-o-crap twice and is more likely  to cause a fire than a self-contained BGE with the thick ceramic wall.

    I would fire up the grill, throw on some steaks or ribs or butt and invite the board over for a demonstration to show how safe the really are.  I have demonstrated that at 500* you can put your hand on the top or the bottom and not get burned (granted you don't leave on there for long, but the demo can be effective.)
  • It's not charcoal, it's ceramic. :-)

    I'm in a suburban condo HOA that has similar rules. Ours (as is also likely the case with you, in the city) are based on a city ordinance prohibiting charcoal grills on wooden decks attached to multi-family units (condos, townhomes, etc). However, I'm not the only one in the HOA with a charcoal grill on my deck, and my EGG is a lot less recognizable to a passer-by than, say, a Weber kettle. So far, I haven't had any problems.

    I've got a former classmate in Chicago who just bought an off-brand kamado. I'm pretty sure he's in a condo too. Haven't heard any concerns from him about fire codes.

    I'm curious about your forum handle. I'm a west-suburbs native, now living in (far-west suburban town. Name withheld to prevent the Man from taking away my Egg-on-a-wooden-deck). Boilermaker class of '02.
  • Typically these HOA rules are based on the local fire code, which is usually based on the NFPA Fire Protection Handbook.  I seriously doubt you can get an exclusion.
    The Naked Whiz
  • SmokeyPittSmokeyPitt Posts: 9,860
    edited August 2011
    If it comes down to it...

    Which came first the chicken or the egg?  I egged the chicken and then I ate his leg. 

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