Belle Alert – New Fire Zoning Being Considered on September 23rd!

September 22, 2008

Town Manager Susan George’s recent Report to the COWncil suggests that the COWncil will next consider increasing fire zoning in our Town at the next COWncil meeting, Tuesday September 23rd. When the Council made its original designation of these areas in June, it directed the staff to work with the fire district to develop additional areas for designation and the findings needed to support the designation. Staff expects to have an ordinance ready for consideration. All neighborhoods that may be impacted should have been notified.

In addition, the Town Council will have an ordinance before it that deals with the definition of a “new building” which will apply to the Town’s fire sprinkler regulations.

As we’ve mentioned in those earlier reports, Citizens have had concerns over whether the new fire ordinances would be applied fairly, the costs involved, whether it might complicate the ability of Citizens to get fire insurance, whether the ordinance would require clear-cutting of property, and other important issues. The Town tried to address such concerns at the last meeting, but as you can see from the video of that COWncil meeting, not everyone was convinced.

We here at COW on balance strongly support the extension of strong fire regulations throughout our Town, and support Fire Marshall Denise Enea’s drive to increase strong protections from wildfire throughout our COWmunity. As she stated during the June 9th special fire meeting the COWncil held, the Fire Marshall believes that any part of the Town is vulnerable to fire – and members of the COWncil have expressed the same thought. But we realize that real world issues of cost and landscape beautification need to be given some weight as well. That’s why we encourage you to come to the next COWncil meeting and make sure your voice is heard on the issue of expanding the fire protection zones in Woodside.

You can read the Agenda and staff report for the September 23rd meeting here.

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