The City of North Vancouver has passed a bylaw allowing for public alcohol consumption in certain public spaces, such as parks and urban plazas.
Mayor Linda Buchanan explained on Twitter that the idea was first introduced in early May when City Council directed staff to research a potential bylaw change. It was ultimately passed during Monday’s council meeting.
Buchanan has been one of several city leaders across the Lower Mainland to advocate for public alcohol consumption, arguing how public spaces are valuable for enabling physically distant gatherings with families and friends.
“This summer, I want our parks to feel like an extension of people’s own backyards,” she wrote. “A large portion of City residents live in multi-family buildings, making parks even more valuable for their families. Parks will allow us to come together while keeping our distance.”
The mayor added that she believes the City of North Vancouver is the first jurisdiction in the province to pass such a bylaw.
“When used in moderation, liquor consumption can be enjoyable for people and facilitate social interaction,” reads a report from city staff. “This is an opportunity to provide informal, safe outdoor places for family and friends to socialize while supporting local businesses.”
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Alcohol consumption will be allowed in the designated spaces between 11 am and 9 pm, seven days a week.
A number of locations have also been recommended by city staff, in consultation with the RCMP and the City’s financial recovery task force. They were chosen based on a number of factors, such as proximity to washrooms, closeness to restaurants and multi-family housing, and to include a mix of “soft and hard landscaped areas.” Signage will also be used to identify the boundaries of the public areas.
The following areas have been recommended by city staff for allowing public alcohol consumption:
This bylaw has been designated as a pilot project that is scheduled to end on October 15, 2020.