The new courts on Cowichan Avenue in Lake Cowichan have attracted so much interest that local pickleball players will be hosting a big tournament in 2018. (Submitted)

The new courts on Cowichan Avenue in Lake Cowichan have attracted so much interest that local pickleball players will be hosting a big tournament in 2018. (Submitted)

Plans underway for pickleball tournament

“We will be hosting the first outdoor court tournament on Vancouver Island”

The Lake Cowichan Pickleball group announced to town council that the reaction to the new pickleball court on Cowichan Avenue is so popular that plans are underway for a big tournament in 2018.

“We will be hosting the first outdoor court tournament on Vancouver Island, other than what’s been done at Fuller Lake.”

However, the six-court outdoor facility in Lake Cowichan is right in the midst of a residential area, so there are likely to be some issues, the group said.

“With over 100 participants, I would say there is the potential for over 150 spectators. That will be one of our challenges. With 20 volunteers, I would say we are ready to start planning this. But, we anticipate some of our challenges will be around parking, possibly accommodations. We haven’t decided yet if we are going to participate in accommodations or just let people look after their own.

“There are a number of other things we’ll need to plan, but we are looking forward to working with [Lake Cowichan CAO Joe Fernandez] and town operations to try to address some of this. Some of it we think we can work around but we could be spread for a number of blocks around the area or we could potentially use the baseball diamond parking and provide a bus. We need to work all those things out. It’s a little to early to know. That’s where we’re at so far. But we are already pretty excited.

“The players will be from all over the Island, as well as the Gulf Islands. We had three top-ranked amateurs here the other day and they are thrilled with what they’ve seen,” Peters said.

RCMP action on pot shop not tied to town action

The Town of Lake Cowichan has not been involved in any action to close the marijuana shop in town, according to Fernandez.

“We issued them fines right from the start. They are in business illegally,” he said, adding any police raids on the facility have not come at the behest of the town.

Lake Cowichan RCMP have closed down the site at least once towards the end of the summer but have made no comment as to why they took that action.

Councillors think more columbariums possible

Although three columbariums have been planned for a site near the west end of Greendale Road, Lake Cowichan councillors are interested in finding out how many of the structures could be accommodated in the small park.

Three had been shown in the drawings council saw before voting to approve of the idea, but Coun. Bob Day, in particular, wanted to see more specifics about where they would be placed before work starts so it can go forward in an organized way.

Mayor Ross Forrest agreed and said he had walked around the site only a day or so before the meeting and “you can’t tell me you can’t get more than three in there.”

The columbariums can be configured many ways, and “I really believe there’s a lot more room in there than first thought.”