The City of Penticton is looking into the possibility of licensing certain public spaces to permit alcohol consumption during set hours. The city could see legal public drinking as early as June 5, 2020. (Cannery Brewing photo)

The City of Penticton is looking into the possibility of licensing certain public spaces to permit alcohol consumption during set hours. The city could see legal public drinking as early as June 5, 2020. (Cannery Brewing photo)

Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

Trying to inconspicuously drink on the beach could become a thing of the past

You may soon be able to enjoy a lawful drink on Penticton’s beaches.

The city is looking into the possibility of licensing certain public spaces to permit alcohol consumption during set hours.

The current penalty for public consumption of alcohol is a $100 fine.

READ MORE: Penticton’s Cannery Brewing discounts growlers, thanks community for support

The idea to lift the restrictions on public drinking was first proposed by Coun. Campell Watt in a recent council meeting.

Watt’s reasoning for the lift on restrictions is to support local breweries, wineries, distilleries and restaurants while also allowing people to enjoy food and drinks in an outdoor setting amid COVID-19 restrictions, explained the city’s director of development services, Blake Laven.

Some restaurants are beginning to reopen as COVID-19 restrictions ease, but it’s likely that they won’t be able to operate at full capacity this summer.

READ MORE: COVID-19: B.C. restaurants can host dine-in guests again, but what will that look like?

Laven explained that the city is looking at multiple parks and beaches across the city as potential sites where drinking would be allowed. “The idea is to spread it out a bit more to not make it a big event or anything,” he said.

“As Penticton is home to 30 wineries, seven breweries and two distilleries, staff are preparing options for council to consider allowing locals and guests to enjoy those products in our beautiful outdoors,” he said. “If council approves the pilot, all rules of the BC Liquor Act, including responsible behaviour, still apply.”

Laven and other city staff have been working on a plan to implement legal public drinking since a May 19 council meeting.

City staff are expected to present their recommendations to council at its June 2 meeting. If council approves staff’s plan a five-week pilot project could start June 5.

“We wanted to set this up as pilot so we could see what the impact is, monitor the situation, and then also get feedback from residents to see what their impressions are,” said Laven.

After the five-week pilot, council will make a decision to either continue to allow drinking in public places or to end it, depending on the outcome.

“It could be a big disaster, who knows,” Laven said. “I think if there’s a few incidents and we’re getting increased RCMP and bylaw calls it’s easy enough to just close it and abandon it.”

The city is currently seeking the public’s feedback on this and various other issues and encourage residents to share their opinions by visiting ShapeYourCityPenticton.ca.

READ MORE: Penticton Farmers Market prepares for return

@PentictonNews
editor@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Food and Drink

Just Posted

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

A motorycle crash has been reported on Westside Road. (Google Maps)
UPDATE: Westside Road reopened following motorcycle crash near Vernon

AIM Roads advises drivers to expect delays due to congestion

Dereck Donald Sears. (Contributed/Crimestoppers)
Murder charge laid in relation to suspicious Kelowna death

Dereck Donald Sears is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Darren Middleton

Most Read