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

Snowboarders at Revelstoke Mountain Resort heading for the gondola. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Updated: Another 16 COVID-19 cases for Revelstoke

The cases were identified between Jan. 3 and 9

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A performance by Alex Cuba will be streaming live on Arts Revelstoke platforms on Feb. 12, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Fasano, submitted by Arts Revelstoke)
Arts Revelstoke hosting virtual performances and movies this season

REVY. Live and Movies in the Mountains is returning

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
115 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths in Interior Health

There are now a total of 4,970 cases in the region

Shrubbery peeking through snow in downtown Revelstoke on Jan. 14. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
95% less snow in Revelstoke this winter compared to last year

However, there’s plenty of snow in the alpine

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Most Read