Council set to talk woodstoves as clarification issue brought forward

Strata Plan 1965 ask for council's clarification on woodstove and cooking fire use

The Town of Lake Cowichan has received a letter asking for clarification on woodstove and outdoor fire usage.

As a result, council is set to discuss the issue moving forward with Mayor Ross Forrest saying “there’s always somebody that finds a loophole somewhere.”

The letter came forward to council at last Tuesday’s Finance and Administration Committee meeting from Geoff Amy, secretary at South Cowichan Lake RV Park – Strata 1965 on North Shore Road in Lake Cowichan.

With regards to woodstoves first of all, Amy wrote, “some owners are utilizing woodstoves in their individual sites claiming that they are food fires and permitted under your regulation.”

The regulation states that “cooking fires contained within a barbecue pit or other device have a surface area not greater than four square feet or within a manufactured gas or electric barbecue,” are allowed.

“Unfortunately your regulation refers to ‘cooking fires’ but does not define them,” wrote Amy, who then went on to discuss open fires on the beach and propane fire rings.

“Some owners consider it acceptable to light an open fire on the beach, in an old truck rim for containment, also claiming it to be a ‘food fire’, as long as they have wieners and a stick close by. The Strata membership generally feels that neither of these scenarios is permitted under the regulation and is seeking clarification.

“I also request confirmation that propane fuelled devices commonly known as ‘fire bowls or rings’ are permitted at all times under the regulation.”

The town seems set to look elsewhere before getting back to Amy.

“This may require legal interpretation,” said chief administrative officer Joe Fernandez at the meeting. “I’ll contact the CVRD and see what they deal with. We do get quite a bit of complaining about open burning.”