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.



[email protected]

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SD 78 approves budget for 2019-2020

No changes to the bottom line, unanimous approval

Tick season begins in Hope, says local veterinary clinic

Vet clinic helping track Lyme disease across country

VIDEO: Harrison sculptor/carver shows off his work

Werner Streicek has been sculpting for 25 years in Harrison Hot Springs

KAAC won’t back Kent’s Teacup properties plans

Public consultation meeting is on March 10 at District Hall

Take a run out to the corner store when Kim’s Convenience comes to Chilliwack

The play that inspired the hit television show is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Aspiring entrepreneurs invited to pitch ideas at Dragons’ Den auditions

Abbotsford and Vancouver the only Lower Mainland try-out locations

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

Most Read