PENTICTON - The dispute between nude sunbathers and residents of Three Mile Beach could be solved for $75 - the price of a sign according to Locals Supporting Locals founder Kevin Proteau who made the proclamation on the steps of city hall prior to the regular council meeting February 2.
But the answer won't be that easy. On the agenda was a presentation about nude sunbathing at Three Mile Beach, from a differing point of view.
Calling an upcoming delegation to the Monday council meeting “so-called residents" of Three Mile Road, Proteau said he called the press conference because only one side was being represented at the council meeting. He said he spoke with Mayor Jakubeit, and was assured the representation at council Monday evening represented a start to the process of sorting out the issues at Three Mile Beach.
“He’s given me his word that we will be contacted, and this is the goal of Locals Supporting Locals, let’s look at a common sense resolution so we can all live together here."
Proteau said of the seven houses on Three Mile Road with a view to the beach, none of them were owned by Cary Pinkowski, scheduled to meet with council later in the evening.
“He (Pinkowski) said we were disturbing his peace and enjoyment, and this so-called nudity is threatening to him, and he doesn’t even live there,” Proteau said.
Calling himself a naturist, Proteau said the problem could be resolved by posting a $75 sign at the top of the stairs leading to the beach saying “you are now entering to what may be a clothing optional beach.”
“That is a simple solution because the Three Mile Beach sits on provincial land, what’s historically known as a clothing optional beach for 80 years, give or take,” he said.
Proteau said he had never witnessed any lewd or illegal sex acts at the beach. He said those using the beach represented a community, and if any socially unacceptable acts took place, those people would be asked to leave.
Proteau claimed city officials had recently expressed an interest in promoting the site as a clothing optional beach in the interests in tourism, and said he was optimistic a peaceful solution could be worked out with residents of Three Mile Road.
Three Mile Beach property owner Cary Pinkowski held differing views a short time later when addressing Penticton council.
“We absolutely reject this,” he said claiming designating the beach clothing optional would damage property values. “When you get naked in front of children, that’s a big problem,” he said.
Pinkowski appealed to council to get tough on bylaw enforcement at the beach.
“If they get enough fines, maybe they’ll get the message. It’s not prudish to push a bylaw - it’s being responsible,” he told council.
Accompanying Pinkowski was Three Mile resident Matt Fraser, who said activity on the beach started to pick up in the early 2000s.
“It really got bad last year. Sex was an issue - it got out of hand. We were unable to enjoy the beach anymore,” he said, noting any unseemly activity in the past was formerly out of sight on Pinkowski’s property.
Fraser said there was a lot more than nude suntanning going on there.
“It seems like we’re being bullied out of our community,” he said.
Penticton Councillor Max Picton expressed concern about ads pertaining to indecent activity at Three Mile Beach, noting there had been a reduction in the number appearing lately, from a high of close to 1,000 in 2013.
Mayor Jakubeit thanked the two for their presentation, adding council now had an idea of what they should be and could be doing. He expressed hope the issue could be resolved in time for summer.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.