A couple enjoy the sunset with a bottle of wine in September on Okanagan Lake by the Sicamous. Penticton city council is extending its acohol on public beaches program to summer 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

A couple enjoy the sunset with a bottle of wine in September on Okanagan Lake by the Sicamous. Penticton city council is extending its acohol on public beaches program to summer 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Penticton gives alcohol on public beaches another summer

Broken glass and litter were the main complaints from last summer

Penticton residents who enjoyed a glass of wine or beer on the beach last summer can cheer for next year, with city council moving forward with a second trial year of allowing alcohol on public beaches.

With COVID-19 hitting 2020, and signs of a vaccine on the horizon, council wants to see the impact of allowing beer on the beaches in a more normal year.

Council unanimously approved city staff to start planning a second pilot year at the Nov. 17 meeting, with Mayor John Vassilaki abstaining from the decision.

The one-month pilot program allowed the consumption of liquor in select parks and beaches along Okanagan Lake through parts of May and June last year. In June, city council passed a bylaw extending the pilot through the rest of the summer and later expanded the initiative to include parts of the Skaha Lake waterfront. The program in both locations wrapped up on Oct. 15.

The city staff’s report to council said RCMP concluded that “overall, it does not appear that allowing liquor consumption within the specified areas added any significant strain to police resources.”

One of the concerns shared by members of council was the reported increase in littering, particularly of glass bottles reported by the city’s parks department.

“I am concerned about glass on the beach, and I would like us to explore in between now and then going with cans only,” said coun. Katie Robinson. “Even with bottles of wine, the ski industry for years has been using wineskins, there’s no reason why we couldn’t do that, and it would actually generate some economy selling wineskins. “

READ MORE: Legal beach drinks could return to Penticton next summer

Another concern was with the littering was the increased amounts of refuse left behind.

“The common complaint I heard was the garbage containers were overflowing,” said acting mayor Judi Sentes. “Either we’re picking up at the wrong time, or we’re not picking up enough. “

City staff will be taking those complaints into account with their planning. Members of council and city staff expressed their support for project to return, citing the comments from businesses and local organizations who benefitted from the program.

“I think for the project overall, the fact that we’re basing our thoughts on anecdotal scenarios is tremendous, because that means that we didn’t have one item that we could pinpoint to say we had a negative component,” said COun. Campbell Watt.

The city will revise the bylaw allowing the public consumption of alcohol in designated places before presenting it to council for approval next year.

READ MORE: Booze on beach extended through summer in Penticton

Additional funding for improved garbage and recycling to account for the program is included in the 2021 draft budget for $88,500.

With files from Jesse Day

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

alcohol tradeMunicipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Oliver Fire Department had to put out a fire on their own training ground, and it wasn’t one they set. (Facebook)
Vehicles torched at Oliver Fire Department training grounds

This suspected arson comes after the cars were vandalized earlier and suspicious fire the night before

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

Steven Brown is running for Penticton city council in the June by-election. (Contributed)
Penticton race director throws hat into city council ring

Steven Brown will run with a focus on small business

Penticton Vees celebrate a goal in their second win to start their season on Saturday night at the SOEC. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton Vees head into final weekend tied for first in league

The Vees have two games to take the top spot

Kelsey Johnson, the City of Penticton’s manager for parks and recreation, was recognized by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association as an emerging leader for her work. (Submitted)
National recognition for Penticton’s head of parks & rec

Kelsey Johnson was deemed an emerging leader by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Most Read