Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Despite rumblings of alcohol soon being allowed at beaches and some other public spaces in neighbouring Penticton, the City of Kelowna will not be following suit.

“Not at the moment,” at least, according to Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

Currently, if you’re caught beer-in-hand at Kelowna beaches and parks, a bylaw officer will hand you a hefty $230 fine.

In Penticton, an item is set to go to council next week that could nix that city’s less hefty, but still discouraging $100 fine for drinking on the beach.

Penticton city staff will present recommendations next week, that if approved by council, would set in motion a five-week pilot project in which multiple parks and beaches across the South Okanagan city could see liquor restrictions removed. If approved, Pentictonites could be enjoying their favourite local beer or wine in public as soon as next Friday (June 5).

“As Penticton is home to 30 wineries, seven breweries and two distilleries, staff are preparing options for council to consider allowing locals and guests to enjoy those products in our beautiful outdoors,” explained Penticton’s director of development services, Blake Laven.

“If council approves the pilot, all rules of the BC Liquor Act, including responsible behaviour, still apply.”

Kelowna, with its similarly sized cohort of alcohol production facilities, will not see such an initiative come before city council any time soon. The mayor said the city wants to see how other initiatives meant to help local businesses pan out, such as the enhanced patio program, before making any further moves.

“It doesn’t mean that couldn’t change,” he said. “But at this moment there are no plans to look at something like that.”

Penticton city staff are expected to present their recommendations to council at its June 2 meeting.

After the five-week pilot, Penticton council will decide to either continue to allow drinking in public places or to end it, depending on the outcome.

“It could be a big disaster, who knows,” Laven said. “I think if there are a few incidents and we’re getting increased RCMP and bylaw calls it’s easy enough to just close it and abandon it.”

-With files from Jesse Day

READ MORE: POLL: Drinks in the park in Vernon?

READ MORE: Penticton may soon allow drinking alcohol in some public places

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Just Posted

Young Federico “Fred” Lenzi. (Raymond Lenzi/Contributed)
Italian moved to Okanagan with hope; he ended up being sent to a WWII internment camp

Raymond Lenzi shares his grandfather’s story ahead of Canada’s planned formal apology to Italian-Canadians

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Jane Long-Haggerty, a chartered accountant with a member of the Salvation Army Food Bank, hold up a cheque for $740. Long-Haggerty decided to cut her fees in half and ask her clients to donate whatever they felt they could to the food bank. The idea landed her a room full of food and $740 to the Salvation Army Food Bank. (Submitted)
Penticton accounting firm gives big return to food bank

Long-Haggerty said this year’s tax season showed how bad the pandemic has impacted everyone

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

A brown bear and two cubs were spotted near Killiney Beach May 10. (Michael Dick photo)
Warm spring brings bears out earlier in Okanagan

Residents urged to keep their garbage secure until the morning of pickup

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Kelowna rain
Kelowna records driest March on record, spells summer trouble for Okanagan

In March, Kelowna received a total of 2.6 mm of precipitation, compared to the monthly average of almost 22 mm

Superintendent Aaron Paradis, community services officer with the Surrey RCMP, during a media availability about a recent drug bust in Port Coquitlam. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Police seize 13 million ‘potentially fatal doses’ of pure fentanyl at B.C. drug lab

The evidence was seized at large, illicit drug manufacturing site in Port Coquitlam

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth debates the province’s latest measure to control crime, March 10, 2021. The legislation allows police to impound vehicles used to transport weapons and further restricts sale of vehicle and body armour. (B.C. legislature video)
B.C. seeking ways to ‘name and shame’ gangsters, minister says

Mike Farnworth appeals to family members to talk to police

Jonathan Prest had to climb way up to the top of a dead red cedar tree to rescue a terrified cat, but he made it up and down successfully. (Facebook photos)
Tree cutter rescues cat stuck 100 feet up a dead and dried-out cedar

Jonathan Prest put himself in extreme peril to get a terrified cat out of a dangerous situation

The Greater Victoria School District continues to face backlash over its wording and approach to Indigenous learners in its 2021-2022 budget talks. (Black Press Media file photo)
School district’s approach to Indigenous learners leaves Victoria teachers ‘disgusted’

Backlash grows over ‘pattern of colonial thinking permeating the leadership’

Joyce and John Henderson were among 25 British Columbians named 2021 BC Achievement Community Award winners by the BC Achievement Foundation. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm couple recognized for their decades of contributions to community

Joyce and John Henderson receive provincial achievement award

Phil Hotzon gets surprised with a brand new e-bike after family and friends raise money to replace his broken one (Amandalina Letterio/Capital News).
Friends and family rally to replace Kelowna man’s broken electric tricycle

After crashing his e-bike into Mill Creek, loved ones raised fundraised and replaced it

Then-minister Rich Coleman, escorted by Victoria Police, makes his way to the east wing amid a protest blocking the legislature entrances before the throne speech in Victoria, B.C., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. money laundering inquiry testimony ends today with reappearance of Rich Coleman

Responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, Coleman been recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month

Most Read