Town of Golden council makes plan to rescind solid fuel bylaw

Golden Council takes step to remove solid fuel burning bylaw.

The Town of Golden Council has moved to repeal a bylaw which has been in place since 2005 that deals with solid burning appliances and has directed staff to prepare a bylaw to enable the repeal.

Bylaw number 1150  partially stated “The installation of solid fuel burning appliances is prohibited, except where such an appliance is replacing an existing solid fuel burning appliance.”

At the beginning of the debate Mayor Christina Benty said she would prefer to have the discussion referred to the Energy Emissions Reduction Committee.

Benty explained the discussion was happening after a number of councillors asked for the item to be placed on the agenda.

Councillor John Jackson felt it was important to clarify that the debate was focussed on letting people put in new EPA wood burning stoves into their homes.

“I am in complete agreement (with repealing the bylaw). I see no reason why, especially in a wood based economy, we should keep some from putting in a wood stove,” Jackson said.

Councillor Chris Hambruch explained he felt it was important to have the discussion now so that if the bylaw was repealed then people would have the chance to get a stove properly installed before winter.

“I would support rescinding this bylaw,” Hambruch said.

Councillor Mike Pecora also spoke in favour of repealing the bylaw before Mayor Benty spoke against making the move at the present time.

“We cancelled transit without enough public dialogue, again this is from my perspective. The Bridge to Bridge has raised a number of issues. I recognize what Councillor Hambruch is saying and it gives people the opportunity to respond before the season. There has been certain dialogue in the community to see that happen. However I would like to see us have a little more public dialogue,” Benty said.

She acknowledged that the process would slow things down but it would be worth it from her perspective.

Councillor Caleb Moss said, “I fully believe it is time to have a conversation about this. I do not think it needs to be decided upon this evening and I am happy with the suggestion to send it to the committee.”

Moss went on to explain he felt this was a polarizing issue which is discussed on a regular basis but he still felt it was not a decision which needed to be made instantly.

Councillor Jackson responded to Moss and said, “If I was going to put a wood stove into my house I would want to do it right now.”

Jackson added for the people who want to get a stove they have to find a contractor, get wood and many other things which would be difficult to do if the vote was put off.

“In my mind this is a decision we need to address as soon as possible,” he said.

Councillor Ron Oszust felt any timeline which would hold up people another year was not acceptable even though he was open to having more discussion in the future.

Town staff explained people would still have to come to the town and that standards through the BC Building code are still in place to make sure the stoves are at the recommended EPA standard.

At this point of the meeting Councillor Moss made the motion to move the discussion to a committee of the whole meeting which was not seconded by any other councillor.

Hambruch made a motion to rescind the bylaw and the motion was seconded by councillor Jackson before a vote of 4-2 in favour of repealing the bylaw. (Benty and Moss voted no).