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Penticton  

Supporters bare all at beach

A small group of nude beach-goers gathered at the location at Three Mile Beach, on Tuesday, to talk about what's next.

Sitting on towels on the part of the beach they are allowed access to, they discussed keeping the issue in the forefront and where they can find support.

"We need to keep this out front and centre," said Dustin Wolchina. "We need you to come, not get dressed and crawl away."

The Penticton beach has served as a clothing optional beach to locals and tourists for years. But last week, the owner of the private property, put up no trespassing signs and hired security. Then on Monday, a fence went in.

The owner is eager to sell the property and claims an interested party was run off by trespassers.

Resident Rick Giles urged those in attendance to support the rights of the property owner.

"We have been described as trespassers and squatters, so we have to make sure our community is acting respectively," he said."We are happy public access has been restored to the land, but we are looking to show some leadership in keeping people off the private property."

The beach-goers claim contractors, who put in a fence for the property owner on Monday, also caused some damage to the adjacent city beach.

Acting Mayor Katie Robinson said if that is the case, it is city business.

Furthermore, she said, the city, overall, has nothing to do with this, as it is clearly not its jurisdiction.

"It's not our property. It's a combination of private property and BC provincial lakeshore," she said. "Three Mile Beach that the city owns is adjacent to this private property and remains open to the public."

Meanwhile, there is an online petition regarding the beach on the 3Mile Clothing Optional Beach Facebook page.

Ultimately, the goal of the beach users is to restore access to crown land and establish historic usage of the crown land.

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