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Barbecue ordinance getting another look

Kyle Magin
Nevada Appeal News Service
Dan Thrift / Nevada Appeal News Service A barbecue grill sits at an apartment complex in South Lake Tahoe. The outdoor cooking devices are subjected to fire-safety regulations around the lake.
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Barbecue grills were a hot issue at the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District Board of Directors meeting, and the fire district agreed to revisit the ordinance.

At February’s board meeting Fire Marshal Tom Smith said the district would educate citizens on a long-standing ordinance against having barbecues on the decks of multiple-family dwellings.

The ordinance, a part of the International Fire Code that has been on the books as early as 1991, drew the ire of Incline Village/Crystal Bay citizens, who caught the ears of board members.

Board Chairman Wayne Fischer, along with other board members, said citizens have contacted them with concerns about the ordinance.

Debbie Moore, a resident at the Tahoe Racquet Club condominiums on the 900 block of Tahoe Boulevard expressed her dislike of the ordinance in the meeting’s public comment section.

“I think this could have direct and indirect consequences on insurance and property values … it’s a terrible ordinance and I hope you will discuss it and let us have our barbecues back,” Moore said.

Smith said he would look into the ordinance to see if any adjustments could be made, but said it wouldn’t happen overnight.

“Our next step is looking at what we can do about the ordinance,” Smith said. “The elephant is in the room, but we have to be sure to address the safety. That is the underlying concern.”

The board decided to talk about the barbecue ordinance during its April 16 meeting. Smith said he hopes to provide some solutions at that meeting once he consults with the international fire code, and said a solution may be approved in a matter of months.