Summerland council gave a big thumbs up to approving a pilot project to allow alcohol consumption on local beaches for this summer, following in the footsteps of Penticton.
On Monday, the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and Visit Summerland Tourism Advisory Committee presented as a delegation to promote the adoption of a pilot project.
The district decided to follow in the footsteps of the City of Penticton, starting off with a temporary allotment for alcoholic beverages on the beaches, which will see the program evaluated monthly, along with reports from bylaw and RCMP on the impacts the project may have.
“I believe this is already happening on our beaches. It's just well hidden,” Coun. Doug Patan said with a laugh.
Coun. Adrienne Betts suggested that the time specification for the program be altered, making the end time dusk, instead of 8 p.m.
“I feel like that's when people are naturally using the lakefront parks, I mean it doesn't really matter what time it is. They're there until dusk,” she said.
Discussion amongst the councillors and Deputy Mayor Erin Trainer eventually agreed upon 9 p.m. as an end time, noting the longer hours of light in the summer and people staying at the beach, but still wanting an established end time to monitor for the trial period.
“I wouldn't support dusk, because it's too undefined. You’ve got to put a time into it to aid enforcement,” Coun. Richard Barkwill added.
District staff will be monitoring the recycling at all the beaches and whether the need increases for picking those up if there were issues with “being overburdened with bottles.”
The tourism advisory committee had identified if that became an issue, there are volunteer program groups that could be assigned to assist with recycling pickup if required.
Council approved the responsible consumption of liquor for a 2023 project period of 12 weeks in Summer 2023, throughout the months of June, July, and August, between the hours of 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. at three Summerland beaches: Rotary Beach, Peach Orchard Park and Powell Beach.