Local naturists have reason to hope that they will have an official clothing optional beach to sunbathe on this summer.
After debate, Penticton city council voted to direct staff to investigate installing signage to control clothing optional usage of the beach or installing landscaping that would segregate usages, such as a closing optional area.
All six councillors voted in favour of this option, with Mayor Andrew Jakubeit making it unanimous, albeit reluctantly.
“That’s unanimous, I guess,” said Jakubeit as he counted votes. Jakubeit had also wanted to include investigating relocating the clothing optional beach. “I do have some reservations. We have two lakes and lots of beach access. I think we need to look at alternative locations as options too.”
Interim city manager Chuck Loewen said he expects a report will be available at the first regular council meeting in April.
Three Mile Beach has a long history as Penticton’s unofficial beach, but that usage became a subject of controversy last year after a local landowner closed access through his property to a secluded portion of the beach. Naturists began both moving to a more public area of the beach and protesting the closure of the other section of the beach.
A delegation of nearby residents came before council in February 2015 to request council take action to end the clothing optional usage.