Multiple Austin news sources are reporting on a proposed bill that could put a few local barbecue joints out of business. Originally, district 3 council member,’Sabino Pio’ Renteria, put forth an ordnance that would require barbecue establishments to use ‘smoke scrubbers’ to eliminate the amount of smoke each pit would produce. According to an interview with Aaron Franklin, these scrubbers could cost upwards of $20,000 each and would definitely put some smaller locations out of business.
After numerous conversations with Renteria, he decided to go back and reword the original ordinance. According to a recent report from the Austin Monitor, “any restaurant owner or food truck owner within 100 feet of residential property would be required to mitigate the impact of smoke emissions on residents ‘by relocating smoke–emitting equipment to exceed (100 feet) or installing smoke – mitigating devices.'”
– See more at: http://www.austinmonitor.com/stories/2015/03/renteria-making-changes-barbecue-proposal/#sthash.wsUcYkfd.dpuf
This comes after neighbors of two barbecue establishments, mainly Terry Black’s BBQ and La BBQ, complained about rising health issues because of the amount of smoke wafting through the neighborhood.
So that’s the boring part. But here’s the thing; when the city of Austin decided to revamp the Red River district you had new residents, most of whom from outside of Austin, complaining about noise levels. Are the people currently complaining about the smoke new residents, or residents that have lived in these neighborhoods well before the Austin bbq boom?
Full disclosure: I don’t live anywhere near a bbq joint, and I love the smell of smoke when you know you have a bbq restaurant near by. I love the smokey smell on my clothes, my hands and anything else I can enjoy later, but I don’t know what it’s like to be around it day in and day out and not do it for a living.