Vancouver Park Board holds off on vote to allow booze in parks
Proposed plan calls for sections of 10 city parks to be designated as alcohol consumption zones
Anyone hoping to legally crack a cold one in a Vancouver park will have to wait.
On Monday night, the Vancouver Park Board voted to delay the pilot project so staff could explore ways to expand and improve the plan with consideration given to more neighbourhoods around the city.
The original proposed bylaw amendment would allow drinking within designated areas of 10 Vancouver parks between the hours of 11 a.m. and 9 p.m.
However, park board commissioners questioned the plan at Monday night's meeting and unanimously voted to take another look at the pilot project in two weeks once staff make changes to the proposal to include:
- At least one park in each of the city's 23 distinct neighbourhoods.
- Require liquor in parks may only be consumed with a meal.
- A review of physical distancing measures for pilot sites.
- Identify a larger, more suitable location to replace a proposed alcohol consumption site at Vanier Park.
Staff had proposed 10 sites for designated alcohol consumption, including two small grassy sections close to the Stanley Park Brew Pub and Restaurant.
Other sites included sections of Vanier, Queen Elizabeth, New Brighton, Fraser River, Locarno, Trout Lake, Harbour Green, South Memorial and Quilchena parks.
All beaches are excluded from the plan.
Park board commissioner Dave Demers questioned the plan to allow drinking alcohol at the 10 designated sites.
"With this recommendation we're basically creating 10 beer gardens throughout our system," he said.
"I always thought the core idea of this project was to incentivize people to use their own local park as their own backyard."
In April, two motions were brought before Vancouver city council promoting the idea of allowing liquor consumption in some parks, even though the ultimate decision has always rested with the park board.
Port Coquitlam, the City of North Vancouver and Penticton have recently voted to allow alcohol at some parks, while Vernon and Saanich have voted against it.
The Vancouver Park Board is expected to vote on a revised pilot project for alcohol consumption sites in parks on July 20.
If passed, the pilot project will run until October 12.
It is currently illegal to drink alcohol in any Vancouver park.
with files from Meera Bains