Should consumption of alcohol be allowed in municipal parks?

Poll: Booze in parks?

The City of Kelowna is proposing a pilot project to allow the consumption of alcohol in three parks along the city's waterfront in the summer.

The city is suggesting the consumption of alcohol be allowed in Waterfront Park, Kinsman Beach and Boyce Gyro Beach Park from noon until 9 p.m. only.

The pilot program would run from July 4 though Oct. 6.

The project is being considered after Mayor Tom Dyas brought up the idea at the conclusion of a council meeting earlier this year.

At the time, Dyas said it is his belief a majority of people are responsible enough to enjoy this within the community.

The mayor noted City Park would not be included on the list at the request of the RCMP.

At the present time, five cities in the province allow alcohol consumption in parks, including Penticton.

Penticton made the practice permanent at all five of its beach parks this year after piloting the idea for three years.

A staff report indicates areas of allowable consumption in Penticton are clearly marked.

"RCMP and bylaw services in Penticton report a negligible impact," the report stated.

"A noted impact to the city was to their works department (heightened volumes of waste)."

Vancouver, North Vancouver, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam also allow open consumption at some parks.

The report says the three Kelowna parks were selected based on several criteria including good sightlines and access for bylaw and police, availability of washrooms, trash cans and picnic areas, easily accessible by transit, parks with regular maintenance and inspection and those close to residential areas giving residents an opportunity to socialize outdoors.

City council will be asked to give first three readings to the bylaw Monday.

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