Penticton website outs nudists, claims "illegal activity"

Nudists at Three Mile Beach during more seasonal months last year. Controversy has flared up again over a website listing photos of people using the beach.
Image Credit: Meaghan Archer / InfoNews photo

PENTICTON - Penticton’s famous nude beach continues to make headlines, even in the dead of winter.

The beach began making regular headlines in June 2014 when a private landowner, who owns a strip of the beach along with the City of Penticton and the province fenced off a portion after claiming a nudist had scared off potential property purchaser.

The issue began heating up last July when formal complaints were lodged about nudists on the beach.

The conversation about keeping Three Mile Beach clothing optional moved online last August, and the latest salvo in the debate over whether nudists should be allowed at the beach surfaced recently over a collection of photos posted online showing who is using the beach.

The photos, taken from a vantage point on the property, show a collection of individuals on a footpath. The web page claims each individual had “walked around fences and past a minimum of five posted “No Trespassing” signs.

The site is the work of a coalition of concerned neighbours and families from Three Mile Road, according to information on the website.

Penticton RCMP Media Relations spokesperson Rick Dellebuur said he became aware of the website only yesterday, and had yet to see it.

Dellebuur said the RCMP forwarded charges to the Crown regarding the theft of a camera from the beach, near the end of last summer. He said several game cameras had been set up at various points at the beach through last summer.  The stolen camera now added a new dimension to the beach use issue.

“It was driven by nudity, now it’s theft,” he said.

He said the detachment was working with city officials to find a solution to the Three Mile Beach issue in time for this summer.

“We attended the beach all summer long, attempting to work with both sides to come up with a compromise, some way to co-exist,” Dellebuur said. “It’s one of those situations where it’s more a community matter than policing. We can’t always enforce. Issues like this need a compromise.”

The city will be hearing about the issue at Monday’s council meeting, as Cory Pinkowski, a resident of the Three Mile area, is slated to speak to council.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

Editor's Note in response to allegations from Vernon RCMP Supt. Jim McNamara
Editor’s note: • Watch shifts at the Vernon detachment have fallen to as low as three roadable officers. • The department suffers from chronic understaffing. • Sources, who we trust and who have knowledge of the s

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