San Jose

San Jose Studies Wood-burning Ban
San Jose Mercuruy News
Published on 02/11/99

San Jose officials began evaluating Wednesday whether the Bay Area's largest city would sign onto a budding movement to ban new wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. Council members Linda LeZotte, Margie Matthews and Charlotte Powers, introduced the idea to the council's rules committee, asking city administrators to write "an appropriate wood-burning ordinance for San Jose." Summary - full article costs $1.95

CHH Sues
2001 Palo Alto & San Jose Ban fireplaces - CHH Sues

Dear Mr. Buckley

I live in San Jose, California, and want to have a woodburning fireplace installed in my home. I'm having difficulty even getting contractors to return my phone calls on the subject. I may have to eventually build it myself. Has there been any improvement with the insane San Jose ordinance?



If you can't get masons to call you back, try calling one or more of our dealers listed at to see if they can recommend masons. Here are two dealers that are close:

County Building Materials
2927 South King Rd.
San Jose, CA 95122
408 274 4920 (fax 408 223 1971)
(Ray or Jay Jr.)

Peninsula Building Materials
P.O. Box 5807
Redwood City, CA 94063
650 365 8500 (fax 650 365 2253)
(Joe and Marty Morey)

As far as I know, you can build Rumfords in San Jose in accordance with our legal settlement if you have an EPA certified testing lab attest that the fireplace was tested and found to be in compliance with the 7.5 g/hr N. Sonoma standard. See the g/hr Manual at and submit the test results at and see what happens. Worst they can do is say "no" and then we can appeal. I'll help and I know they don't want to waste as much time on it as I'm willing to.

As a back-up plan you should be able to build the Rumford and install gas logs shown at in it. If you win the appeal, take the gas logs out and if you lose, leave them in. It's not a bad option. I'd chose either the 30" or 48" Rumford which actually passed the g/hr test in case you do win.

If you're serious about building it yourself I think that's not a bad idea. Maybe you can hire a decent block layer by the hour or day. It's not a hard job for anyone with basic masonry skills who can/will read the Instructions at

Warm regards,
Jim Buckley

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