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

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

Just Posted

Flood fears ease as Fraser River water levels begin to lower

Mission’s CAO says water level never rose above six metre mark

Exercise and cancer to be explored via webinar

UFV’s Dr. Iris Lesser to lead Zoom event for cancer patients and supporters

Asphalt plant can soon begin operations in Steelhead

Council votes 4-3 to permit amendment to Land Use Contract, notes legal implications

Vancouver double homicide leads to arrest in Harrison Hot Springs Wednesday

VPD and RCMP tracked dumped vehicle connected to killings to Chilliwack

Multiple accidents slowing westbound Highway 1 traffic

3 accidents in Langley, Abbotsford within 30 minutes

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Mayors welcome rideshare expansion to eastern Lower Mainland

As of Thursday, Lyft is now offering service throughout Metro Vancouver

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read