Penticton City Staff will recommend to council in their Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting that the city extend a pilot project to allow open consumption of alcohol on some beaches through summer 2021. (BC Ale Trail photo)

Penticton City Staff will recommend to council in their Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting that the city extend a pilot project to allow open consumption of alcohol on some beaches through summer 2021. (BC Ale Trail photo)

Legal beach drinks could return to Penticton next summer

Penticton was one of three B.C. communities to allow open alcohol in some public spaces this summer

Following a trial run last summer, the City of Penticton may allow drinking on the beach again in summer 2021.

After receiving feedback on the pilot project, the city is seeking more information on allowing drinking on the beach and may add another pilot project for summer 2021.

READ MORE: Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

A 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.

City staff will be presenting feedback from various parties such as the RCMP and bylaw on the pilot project in Tuesday’s (Nov. 17) council meeting.

Staff is also expected to recommend that council plan for a similar pilot program next summer.

Feedback from the parks department suggests that there is a need for additional recycling and garbage facilities. Garbage and recycling demands “far exceeded” the existing infrastructure and capacity while drinks were allowed on the beach, according to the city’s parks department.

Better signage and description of approved areas as well as enforcement is recommended by all reports.

The RCMP set up a specific code this summer for files associated with liquor consumption on the beach in the pilot area. Thirty-five files were found to be related to liquor consumption in public. Of those files, the most common offence was causing a disturbance, which occurred 11 times.

Overall, the RCMP found “it does not appear that allowing liquor consumption within the specified areas added any significant strain to police resources.”

Meanwhile, bylaw staff found garbage and recycling capacity to be very lacking during the pilot project. Bylaw also said they witnessed many people “not observing the 8 p.m. deadline and acts of public urination.”

Bylaw recommends that more public education and signage is needed if the program is to continue but added it is hard to determine whether the issues observed were directly related to the pilot project or the “greater use of beaches due to COVID.”

“It is evident that more resources are required to maintain the cleanliness and safety of the bylaw areas should the initiative continue,” bylaw concluded in its report.

The Downtown Penticton Association, Chamber of Commerce and Travel Penticton all had few concerns with the pilot project. But they did note that it was hard to gauge the true impact of the project this year due to COVID-19 and suggested another pilot season should be tried before making any permanent decisions.

City staff consider the pilot project successful and are recommending that council give staff direction to create a similar bylaw and program for 2021. Council will consider the matter during the Tuesday (Nov. 17) council meeting.

Should the initiative be continued into 2021, an additional investment of $88,500 would be required to fund garbage and recycling capacity as well as more frequent clean-ups, according to city staff. The pilot project was completed with “little impact” on the city’s finances in 2020.

READ MORE: Poll: Should Penticton allow drinks on the beach?



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Community

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

Just Posted

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

Coronavirus 3D illustration. (CDC photo)
Two Summerland businesses closed due to COVID-19

The businesses are listed on the Interior Health website

(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’

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

Officials are surveying the streets of Vernon to get a better sense of the issue of homelessness in the city, as part of the province’s point-in-time homeless count for 2021. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Province conducts homeless count in Vernon

It’s the first time Vernon has been included in the provincial homeless count

Most Read