Penticton okays beer on the beach for the rest of the summer - InfoNews

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Penticton okays beer on the beach for the rest of the summer

Alcohol consumption will be allowed on most of Okanagan Lake Beach until Oct. 15, as Penticton City Council approved a staff recommendation to allow the pilot project to continue.
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July 07, 2020 - 4:27 PM

Penticton City Council likes the idea of allowing alcohol on the beach even more than they did before the start of the pilot project that began in early June.

Council members voted 5 to 1 today, July 7, to allow public alcohol consumption on Okanagan Lake beach, using the same conditions that existed in the month-long pilot project.

Director of Development Services, Blake Laven, said staff spent the past month conducting a public survey about the initiative, as well as keeping an eye on the media.

He said most coverage was favourable, with the project making national headlines at one point.

Laven said the city had also kept in touch with stakeholders, noting Interior Health had raised concerns about public drinking, and ICBC about drinking and driving.

Laven said the business community has welcomed the initiative, even building marketing programs around it.

“We may have been the  first to action this initiative in B.C., but we’re not the only ones thinking about it,” Laven said, noting North Vancouver and Port Coquitlam were both considering more permissive plans, utilizing more parks and longer hours for the entire summer, with Vancouver and Saanich also proposing similar programs.

Councillors are expected to make it official with another vote at a special meeting tomorrow.

Coun. Katie Robinson was originally opposed to the pilot project, but said she appreciated the work staff had done to engage the community saying she was “glad to see the public opinion.”

The lone holdout was Coun. Judy Sentes, who said she had received numerous phone calls asking her to oppose the project.

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