This is going to be a long post, but I'm hoping someone out there can help me out here....please bear with me.
Two plus months ago, new next door neighbors moved in to our townhome community. One of the first things they did was put their large propane barbecue grill right up against the common wall that separates our two outside patios. It also happens to be right under our master bedroom balcony.
We live on the end unit and our patio faces southwest. We live near the ocean and have enjoyed the cross breeze from the ocean on even the hottest of days. None of the townhomes in our community have central air conditioning and its that cross breeze that allows us to keep ourselves cool.
The first time the neighbor fired up his BBQ grill, we literally thought there was a fire nearby because we noticed an opaque haze of smoke in our home and then subsequently, our upstairs smoke alarm went off. I went over to the neighbor's patio area, kindly introduced myself, and asked him if he was going to keep his grill there, and he replied yes. It had not occurred to me that this person would use his grill as his sole piece of cooking equipment because in subsequent days following, he grilled literally every single day and if we were lucky, twice in a day.
As I explained to my neighbor, because we live so close to the beach, the breeze pretty much travels southeast, which picks up the smoke of the grill that is located northwest of our unit and right up against the common wall, the smoke funnels directly into our home. We have vaulted ceilings which seems to make the smoke linger for hours after they've stopped grilling.
The smoke is causing our family a lot of stress. In order for us to avoid the smoke from coming into our home, we need to close all of our windows....which in turn causes the house to jump up into the upper 80s in temperature. My fiance has an auto-immune disease, and because of her compromised immune system, she's a lot more sensitive and susceptible to the smoke affecting her breathing. She coughs and once that cough gets going, she's coughing nonstop for the next hour or so.
I tried being the nice guy, being cordial and speaking to the neighbors. I'm a very laidback person and I don't get riled up so I asked nicely. The response I got were just empty words followed by nothing. How hard is it to move a grill 10-15 feet away from the vicinity of our balcony?
I've fired off emails to the property management on our property and even spoken with the president of the HOA. It seems like they're just passing the buck back and forth and the last thing the HOA president told me was that the neighbors were not in violation of any of the CC&Rs (which seems to not have been touched since 1978). I pointed out to him the section called Nuisances which states that: No obnoxious, noxious, or offensive trade or activity shall be carried on upon any Unit or any part of the Project, nor shall anything be done thereonwhich may be, or may become, an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood or which shall in any way interfere with the quiet enjoyment of each of the Owners of his respective Unit or which shall in any way increase the rate of insurance for other Owners."
The HOA's take: we don't have any legal recourse to tell the neighbor to move their grill. WHAT?? I thought the HOA can do whatever they deem justifiable.
We've tried taking matters into our own hands, and tried different things like putting a giant floor fan outside our patio to redirect the smoke. The neighbor got annoyed by that and erected a wooden(??) 7 foot fence behind the grill so that the fan doesn't affect his grilling. His reasoning he told me was that the smoke wasn't coming over the wall so he was helping me out. I don't understand someone's logic in thinking that a fence, no less a wooden one at that, would somehow cause grill smoke to dissipate above 7 feet, when the grill is less that 10 feet total from the bottom part of my balcony. If my balcony window is open (which its going to be with this heat wave/summer), smoke is going to enter my home period.
Not only is this a health hazard, its a fire hazard. Last thing we need is having the neighbor's habit affect our health and the safety of our home and pets.
Anyone got any advice?? It is very much appreciated.
Thanks in advance.