About a dozen people came out to Skaha Lake Sunday in Penticton (March 14, 2021) to protest the possibility of alcohol being sold at the beach. (Contributed)

About a dozen people came out to Skaha Lake Sunday in Penticton (March 14, 2021) to protest the possibility of alcohol being sold at the beach. (Contributed)

Penticton group rallies to prevent booze sales at Skaha Lake

City council will vote on a multi-million dollar plan to revitalize Skaha Lake park Tuesday

About a dozen people came out to Skaha Lake Sunday (March 14) to protest the possibility of alcohol being sold at the beach.

Protesters said they would like to see the lake remain a family friendly, natural protected park.

The protest was organized by Penticton resident Hannah Hyland.

“The group today is short notice, but there are many others quite concerned about what is happening to our beloved, family-friendly, safe park,” Hyland said.

The demonstration comes as city council is preparing to vote this week on a plan to revamp the east side of the park. City council is expected to vote on the matter in Tuesday’s (March 16) meeting.

City staff are calling for the city to upgrade the marina building at Skaha Lake that currently houses a cafe.

Staff also suggests the city consider adding a licensed restaurant to the area.

The plan is expected to cost between $2.8 million and $3.8 million

Staff conducted a survey on the proposed changes and the option of allowing for a licensed restaurant as part of the marina was well supported by participants, with 75 per cent agreeing or strongly agreeing with the option.

Participants who support the idea believe it will be a much-needed, year-round amenity in the east end of the park. Those that are opposed are concerned about commercialization of the parkland and making alcohol available near motorized boats, said staff’s report.

The plan to renew the east end of the park also includes proposals to build a new larger boathouse to replace the existing one, replace the existing splash pad, widen the promenade and add seating, naturalize a riparian area focusing on adding more tree canopy cover, and move a boat trailer parking area so there is more parkland near the lake.

According to Hyland, hundreds of petitions have been signed in the past week against the selling of liquor at the park’s concession stand.

Council is expected to vote Tuesday on whether or not to approve the park plans.

Meanwhile, city staff is recommending council not support a proposal to allow the sale of locally produced liquor at a concession stand in the park this summer.

READ MORE: Eastern portion of Penticton’s Skaha Lake Park could get a $2.8M makeover

READ MORE: Penticton adds new parking meters downtown



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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