The Vancouver Park Board will be reviewing a pilot project and by-law amendment that, if passed, would allow for public alcohol consumption at local parks.
The decision will be made during Monday’s Park Board meeting.
A staff report argues that “the discussion around allowing alcohol consumption in parks has become more timely” due to the ongoing pandemic. One of the many drawbacks is that its limited “the ability of Vancouverites to socialize with their friends and family.”
The report also makes note of recommendations from public health officials to socialize outdoors at a safe distance to reduce the risk of virus transmission.
Park Board staff have developed the program to launch this summer. If passed, it is expected to run from mid-July to October 12, 2020, and would include 10 local parks as part of the program.
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Staff would then use information, usage metrics, and feedback from the program that will be used in a “feasibility study” and later reported back to the Park Board. The report says that the City of Vancouver’s Legal Services, the Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services, and Vancouver Coastal Health was also involved in the consultation.
The locations were selected based on the criteria of being highly visible and accessible by emergency vehicles. They also needed to be equally accessible, have proper washrooms, trash, and recycling access, and have amenities for socializing such as benches, picnic tables, and shelters.
They also needed to have minimal potential to disrupt neighbours and residents, be a certain distance away from playgrounds and schools, and be away from beaches with swimming areas.
The 10 proposed sites are as follows:
- Fraser River Park
- John Hendry Park (Trout Lake)
- Harbour Green Park
- Locarno Beach Park
- Memorial South Park
- New Brighton Park
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- Quilchena Park
- Stanley Park
- Vanier Park
Consumption will only be allowed at specific areas of each park, however.
In late 2018, the Vancouver Park Board forwarded a motion to conduct a “feasibility study” on a pilot project that would allow the public to consume their own alcoholic beverages at parks and beaches.
If the pilot project and by-law amendment are passed, Vancouver would join North Vancouver and Port Coquitlam in allowing for public alcohol consumption at parks and some public spaces.
A decision on the matter will likely be made by Monday evening.