Penticton could keep booze on the beach until mid-October - InfoNews

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Penticton could keep booze on the beach until mid-October

Penticton city staff are recommending a pilot project allowing consumption of liquor on Okanagan Lake beach to continue in a recommendation to council coming forward at next Tuesday's meeting, July 7, 2020.
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July 03, 2020 - 1:05 PM

Penticton's booze on the beach pilot program might be extended into October.

Penticton City Councillors will be asked Monday to approve a staff recommendation allowing liquor consumption on most of Okanagan Lake Beach to continue until Oct. 15.

The initiative began as a pilot project on June 3 to July 5, as a response by the city to assist the Penticton food and beverage industry recover from business losses incurred by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Staff are recommending the pilot project continue after compiling feedback from stakeholders and the general public over the past month the pilot project has been underway.

Staff report “overall, the initiative has seen a high level of public support, relatively favourable media coverage and few incidences of abuse.”

Staff are recommending continuation of the program into an implementation phase which would see the program run through to mid-October, with a more comprehensive recommendation to come in the fall for future years.

Survey results indicated 71 per cent supported the move to allow alcohol consumption on the beach, with strong support for the location chosen.

There was also support for similar legislation at Skaha Lake Park.

The staff report also noted RCMP and bylaw reported few incidents associated with the project, and Penticton city staff found no additional need to provide further maintenance or care in the pilot locations.

The biggest concerns expressed over the project involved enforcement, glass on the beach, underage drinking and other forms of misconduct.

Council is expected to vote on the staff recommendation at the July 7 regular meeting of council. If approved, staff will begin implementation of the initiative by updating park signs to the new dates while continuing with information communication and monitoring for any issues.

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