Nudists eager to stay put

A spokesman for the clothing optional crowd at Penticton's Three Mile Beach, said Friday they would like to see a resolution reached.

Rick Giles made the statement after a week, which has seen complaints made to the MLA, mayor and RCMP regarding nudity on the public beach.

"The city of Penticton maintains six beaches and they are rated the second best beaches in Canada," said Giles. "The PIB maintains one beach and Three Mile Beach up until recently has been a footnote on the city's website. It's time for a resolution and that comes in the form of a sign that states clothing optional beyond this point."

Let's just give it the use it's had for more than 50 years, he added.

The naturists have been using the public beach, ever since the adjacent area they used for years was closed off by the private property owner. No trespassing signs went up and security guards walked the location.

The piece of property is for sale, and the owner claimed at the time that an interested party was run off by trespassers.

Then early this week, some residents complained to Mayor Garry Litke that nudity was taking place in front of children, and they felt they couldn't take their grandchildren to the beach.

This as well as some Google ads of naked men soliciting naked partners at the beach, prompted the mayor, who has been researching the situation, to send a report on to the RCMP.

Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said Friday they will be responding to complaints and encouraging the nudists to either cover up or move where there is no longer an issue with others, wherever that might be.

If it continues to be an issue, based on the evidence and circumstances at the time, they may consider charges under Sec 174 CC, Nudity. 

"Charges under this section are not something that is done very often," he said. "However in consultation with Crown, it is something they will consider if the circumstances warrant same."

It is hoped that both sides can somehow resolve the concerns with some assistance from us, he added.

The full definition of 174 is available online. It includes that "no proceedings shall be commenced under this section without the consent of the attorney general."

Many of the residents who live near the beach said Friday that they don't have a problem with people suntanning and swimming nude.

One of the residents, who has expressed concerns, could not be reached for comment.

Cheryl, a woman who has been coming to Three Mile for 37 years, is hopeful a compromise can be reached.

"The entire world has nude beaches, next to clothed beaches and kids go there all the time, and there is no drama," she said. "It seems people are scared about nothing.

"And although there has been a bad vibe just recently, I'm still staying."



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