Penticton council says no to Skaha Lake Beach liquor sales | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Penticton council says no to Skaha Lake Beach liquor sales

Penticton city council said no to a proposal to sell alcohol at the Tickleberry's Ice Cream beach concession on Skaha Lake.
March 16, 2021 - 4:52 PM

There won’t be any liquor sales at Penticton’s Skaha Lake Beach this year.

Council weighed in on an application to renew a Skaha Lake Park beach concession that proposed the sale of liquor at this afternoon’s regular council meeting, March 16.

The beach concession is one of three owned by the City on Skaha Lake. Chief financial officer Jim Bauer told council the Skaha Lake East concession licence to use expired in September last year and was up for renewal.

The concession would be operated by Thomas & Callin Fine Foods Ltd. (Tickleberry's Ice Cream), but the food concession also proposed adding a permit to sell liquor in its renewal application.

Council approved a request for proposal at the site at the Feb. 16 meeting of council, passing the RFP to the parks and recreation advisory committee on Feb. 21.

Bauer said the advisory committee recommendation originally approved the liquor proposal, but staff had since looked into "specifics of the issue and found a host of practical challenges" around it.

Bauer noted the concession would be located outside Skaha Park’s responsible consumption liquor designated area, recommending to council Tickleberry's permit be renewed for one year without a permit to allow liquor sales.

The City's pilot project to allow liquor consumption on designated parts of the beach is expected to continue this summer.

Councillor Katie Robinson said she couldn’t support a liquor permit at the location, at the same time cautioning residents against early reactions to proposals coming before council.

“If a developer came to town and wanted to put up a 50-storey building – people are allowed to come and ask for anything they want, and then it’s up to council to decide whether the idea has merit or not,” Robinson said.

Robinson said the rumours surrounding the possibility of liquor being sold at Skaha Beach got a little out of hand in this instance.

Council approved a one year permit for food but not liquor at the concession.

Bauer said once the responsible liquor consumption pilot program ends a longer term license for the concession could be considered.

City council also approved a long-term plan for the park at today’s council meeting, agreeing to key elements that include:

  • Completion of the marina docks
  • Renewal of the marina building
  • An extension of a promenade to the marina building
  • A new and extended paddle boathouse
  • A new splash pad
  • Allowing a licensed restaurant at the marina
  • A reconfigured parking lot
  • Naturalization of the riparian areas
  • Trail enhancements and green space upgrades

Community feedback showed 81.3 per cent of responders were somewhat or very supportive of the overall direction taken in establishing the final proposals for the park.

“On behalf of council, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the public process,” Mayor John Vassilaiki said in a statement released by the City today, March 16.

— This story was corrected at 9:04 a.m. Wednesday, March 17 to clarify Thomas & Callin Fine Foods Ltd. operates the Skaha East concession operator.

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