Frequently Asked Questions

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Below is a list of the most commonly requested home owner improvements. For more complex development or less   common improvements you should contact the Building Department at 503-668-0880 or email 

Residential Accessory Structures

A Residential Accessory Structure is a structure that is clearly incidental to and subordinate to the main use of property and located on the same lot as the main use.

Uncertified Woodstoves

As of August 1, 2010, Oregon law requires you to remove an uncertified woodstove or fireplace insert if you are selling your home. The City of Sandy Building Department does not require a permit to remove your uncertified woodstove, but does require a permit to install a new or replacement woodstove.

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Wood Stoves

What is the Heat Smart Program?

The 2009 Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring the removal of any uncertified woodstove from a home when it is sold. This law helps protect people from unnecessary woodsmoke pollution.

Why are uncertified woodstoves a concern?

Uncertified woodstoves burn about 70 percent dirtier than certified woodstoves. They also burn far less efficiently and require more fuel than newer, certified stoves. These older, polluting stoves can remain in service for dozens of years. Removing them from service would help Oregon's efforts to restore and preserve healthy air and save homeowners money.

What are the health concerns with woodstove smoke?

Wintertime residential wood burning is a significant source of air pollution, including fine particulates and air toxics. At times, heavy smoke from residential wood burning in a community can exceed federal air quality health standards for particulate matter. Particulate matter in woodstove smoke can be easily inhaled and reach the deepest part of our lungs; it is known to cause or contribute to respiratory disease, asthma attacks, heart problems, and premature death. Wood smoke also contains toxic organic compounds known to cause cancer.

What should I know about buying a home with an uncertified wood heating device?
  • If the homeowner/seller has an uncertified woodstove device in any building on the residential property being sold, he or she must remove and destroy it before the close of sale.
  • The seller must also give you, the buyer, the seller's disclosure form indicating whether there is a wood burning device on the property.
  • It is the seller's responsibility to remove the uncertified wood burning device unless you and the seller agree that you, the buyer, will be responsible for removing the stove. If so, you must remove and destroy the uncertified wood burning device within 30 days after the closing date of sale.
  • The buyer must also:
    • Get a receipt indicating you have destroyed the stove.
    • Submit the notification form to DEQ.

For more information on removal of woodstoves please visit the Department of Environmental Quality Air Quality Division website or contact them by phone at 1-800-452-4011.