Harrison businesses are hoping council will create restrictions for barbecues on the beach. (Unsplash)

Harrison businesses ask to restrict beach barbecues

A petition to council says barbecues and tents are impacting local businesses

Nearly 20 Harrison businesses have come together to petition the number of barbecues and tents on the beachfront this year.

In a petition presented to council Monday (Sept. 9), the businesses asked council members to consider restricting barbecues and tent use on the beaches.

“Lately we have noticed that is has been affecting food-related businesses due to the heavy volume of barbecue usage on the beach,” the petition reads. “We as a business community would like to suggest the village have a designated area for the barbecue users.”

The businesses who signed the petition are largely restaurants along the waterfront, although other restaurants and waterfront-based retail stores also signed.

“The traffic on Esplanade is held up sometimes because it takes three guys to lift the full-sized barbecue that’s come off their deck, to put it on the beach,” mayor Leo Facio said. “It’s definitely a situation where I agree with the businesses. I think they’ve been very patient over the years in regards to this whole issue.”

Currently, only propane, butane or natural gas barbecues are permitted on the beach — wood, charcoal and briquette barbecues are prohibited at all times. Camping in parks or on the beach is not allowed, but visitors can set up shade tents or canopies temporarily.

SEE ALSO: No more mobile vendors on Harrison beach

During council, staff offered six potential options for limiting barbecue and tent usage: restricting barbecues to one area, like Rendall Park; restricting barbecue use to areas with barbecue pedestals; limiting the size of barbecues to the size of the pedestals; prohibiting barbecue use entirely, unless on private property; limiting the size of sun shades to four feet high by six feet wide; and prohibiting all tents.

Council didn’t make a decision on any of these options during Monday night’s meeting, and instead referred the petition back to staff for more information. However, they did share concerns about what restrictions, or lack thereof, could do to the village.

“The business are suffering,” Councillor Ray Hooper said. “When you see groups of 20 or 30 people turn up with, I don’t mean just with small butane bottles, but they’re taking a 100 pound bottle out of the car. And they’re just there all day long.”

He recommended that barbecues be restricted to Rendall Park, to help increase turnover on the beachfront for others. He also said that parking spots should be time restricted, for the same reason.

Councillor Michie Vidall also spoke about the need for turnover on the beach, and noted that barbecues were often being set up on memorial benches, which was a fire concern.

Councillor Samantha Piper was concerned that limiting barbecues to Rendall Park could create safety concerns for pedestrians.

“We’d have to anticipate … extra foot traffic mixed in with the flow of the boat launch traffic which, to no fault of the boat launch operator, the driver behaviour in that area can often be aggressive,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Harrison Hot Springs boat launch surcharge rakes in nearly $6,000

She also shared concerns that restricting shade tents would be a health concern for visitors, particularly as there are few places to get out of the sun on the waterfront.

For councillor Gerry Palmer, who appeared at council after suffering a heart attack early last week, there is no one right response.

“I do see the concerns of the businesses,” he said. “It doesn’t make it easier when you’re competing with a bunch of people who can have the same view and the same joy as your customers sitting in front of your restaurant.”

He suggested that barbecues be restricted to the east side of Memorial Hall.

But, it was also important to him that restrictions don’t limit families who want to come visit.

“We have something that we want to market, and we can’t only market it to wealthy people,” he said.



grace.kennedy@ahobserver.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. man who murdered Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

B.C.’s ‘Dr. Frankenstein of guns’ back in jail yet again for trafficking in Glock parts

Bradley Michael Friesen has parole revoked for allegedly importing gun parts yet again

New lease sees market rent, modernization for Agassiz’s UBC Dairy

UBC Dairy has less land, higher rent under the lease; hopes stability will bring more opportunities

Sentencing scheduled Tuesday for man who killed Belgian tourist

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Sakkalis near Boston Bar

Langley crash slowing westbound Highway 1 traffic

Crash occurred just past 200th Street around 5:45 a.m.

VIDEO: Bald Eagle Festival welcomes tourists, salmon, eagles to Harrison Mills

The annual festival took place on Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

‘Police incident’ leads Squamish RCMP to ask public to leave Stawamus Chief

People were told to expected a ‘noted police presence’

Most Read