Oliver council will review a bylaw that if passed would allow only one communal wood burning campfire pit per campground.
A section of the fire control bylaw covering outdoor burning states that only designated campgrounds in the Tourist Commercial One Zone will be allowed to have campfires throughout the year in accordance with a number of regulations. Those include only one communal firepit per campground and campfires cannot begin prior to 6 p.m. and must be extinguished before 11 p.m. Propane and gas burning firepits are permitted with no restriction.
Paul Bouchard, owner of the Oliver campground The Lakeside Resort, submitted an email to council regarding his concerns on if this bylaw is approved. He said tourism facilities in Oliver have a lot at stake.
“Please remember we represent a significant input into the Oliver economy, to the retailers our clients spend at, ours and their employee payrolls, and the considerably higher tax mill-rate we happily submit. If this bylaw is enacted, as appears to be planned, due to the complaints of a very few unhappy residents (including some who will have bamboozled you), it will bring unnecessary discredit to our nice town of Oliver.
Bouchard said complaints the town has on file from residents regarding firepits are unverified or “entirely false.” He added there has not been a single wood campfire burning anywhere on The Lakeside Resort property since a ban was imposed in the summer of 2015.
“Please come up with a better solution! The place to start is to thoroughly get the facts vetted. Then a more rational answer will be found. What’s the hurry, honestly?” Bouchard wrote.
A fire regulation bylaw was adopted in 1991 and it was determined by council earlier this year that the bylaw required updating to ensure it met the current operational model of the Oliver Volunteer Fire Department.
The recommendation coming from city staff is that the fire control bylaw receive three readings and be forwarded to the Nov. 14 council meeting for adoption.