IHOP Fined for Noise from Bacon Buster

Smog hogSandy Berger The ventilator unit.

After neighbors complained for weeks about the “constant roar” and “inescapable blare” of IHOP’s new ventilator unit, the restaurant on East 14th Street was issued a noise violation on Monday, the Department of Environmental Protection said.

The noise from the ventilator, which was installed after complaints about an unbearable smell of bacon, had caused neighbors to file at least four complaints with the DEP. On Monday, the restaurant was smacked with $560 in fines, said Ted Timbers, a spokesperson for the agency.

But neighbors will have to keep complaining before they can get their peace and quiet: Mr. Timbers said the DEP can’t serve IHOP with an order to cease and desist until it has been issued three separate violations, and the Environmental Control Board won’t make a ruling about the first one until Sept. 10.

Mary Beth Powers, a neighbor of the pancake house, felt the city wasn’t doing enough. “Factory restaurants like IHOP don’t belong directly beneath people’s homes,” she said. “The city is so worried about our health that they want to ban mega-sodas and cigarettes (ideas that have merit); I wish they would extend that concern to making sure that commercial establishments located in heavily populated neighborhoods don’t make those areas uninhabitable.”

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post referred to the ventilation unit as a “smog-hog.” That reference has been deleted since the term is a brand name and Smog Hog says that it did not manufacture the unit in question.