Council will consider a pilot program to allow drinking alcohol in Waterfront, Kinsmen and Boyce Gyro Parks at its June 5 regular meeting.
A staff report says “the responsible use of alcohol is proposed, between the hours of 12 and 9 p.m.”
Excluded areas include 15 metres from any playground, play equipment, or any children’s play areas, sports courts and fields, parking lots, bodies of water, and piers and boardwalks without railings.
The report also says areas to avoid for the pilot program are City, Kerry and Stuart parks due to either high calls for service, or play spaces. Remote parks and natural areas are also excluded.
The pilot program is proposed to run from July 4 to October 6 but will exclude the Canada Day, B.C. Day and Labour Day long weekends.
During a one-year trial, the project will be monitored, and assessed for continuation, cancellation, or expansion.
The report cites several cities with similar programs, including Penticton.
“After three years of pilots, Penticton has permanently revised its bylaws to allow drinking on the primary beach parks on Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. RCMP and bylaw services in Penticton report a ‘negligible impact’”.
Glass beverage containers would not be allowed as part of the Kelowna pilot, and additional bylaw and maintenance staff would patrol the parks.
No additional RCMP resources are being added, however, officers will continue regular downtown and beach patrols.