Housing Hub has secured interim funding from City of Chilliwack.

Sitting and sleeping on downtown sidewalks could net $100 fine in Penticton

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30

Sitting and sleeping on some downtown sidewalks could be banned in Penticton, this summer as part of the city’s plan to crack down on loitering.

Councillors have voted 5-2 in favour of amending the Good Neighbourhood Bylaw, giving police and bylaw officers the power to hand out tickets for $100 fines.

READ MORE: 100 Homes seeks to add Penticton to federal homelessness strategy

The measure, which still requires final approval, would be enforced between May and Sept. 30 and cover about a dozen blocks on Ellis, Martin and Main streets.

Coun. Jake Kimberly told a council meeting it’s “unfortunate” the city has to resort to such a plan but loitering “interferes with the residents who pay for those sidewalks, it interferes with businesses that pay taxes to operate those stores.”

Coun. Campbell Watt, who voted against the bylaw, expressed concern about how it may affect people watching a parade, for example, and said he’s not comfortable “pushing people out.”

Coun. Julius Bloomfield agreed, saying the change would only target the “symptom” of a lack of affordable housing and should include public input.

“I know there’s a lot of support, but I know there’s a lot of concern as well,” Bloomfield said.

The bylaw already places limits on panhandling and the changes are aimed at those who are sleeping, loitering or deemed to be causing a nuisance in the designated areas, which make up about 17 per cent of the downtown sidewalk length.

Bylaw services supervisor Tina Siebert told council the approach is meant to be minimally restrictive and her staff tries to “balance the heart with the hammer” in its dealings with people.

Development services manager Anthony Haddad said the three streets selected for the loitering ban were chosen because they’ve either been revitalized or are up-and-coming areas.

Other tentatively approved amendments to the Good Neighbour Bylaw would change the definition of street to include vacant storefronts, ban the connection of recreational vehicles to the city sewer system and prohibit the installation of lights that shine onto adjacent properties.

The amendment will be back before council for final approval at a meeting on June 4.

Joe Fries, The Penticton Herald, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

UPDATED: Wildfire burning near Taylor Flats in the Alberni Valley

Fire is located close to Highway 4 near Sproat Lake

Alberni high school builds community with new mural

Mural was painted by students, Nuu-chah-nulth education workers

Port Alberni youth breaks neck in riverbank accident

Fundraiser has been set up for youth and his family

Port Alberni’s high school gets a rainbow crosswalk for Pride Day

Students and staff at Alberni District Secondary School celebrated the official opening… Continue reading

Port Alberni man dies in ATV accident

A Port Alberni man has died following an all-terrain vehicle accident near… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

B.C. church’s Pride flag defaced for second time in 12 days

Delta’s Ladner United Church says it will continue to fly the flag for Pride month

Police probe report of shooting as Raptors rally continues

There were reports of a woman being injured at the event that celebrates the team’s NBA title win

Oil and gas sector cautious as deadline on Trans Mountain decision nears

Trudeau government expected to announce whether it will approve pipeline for second time on Tuesday

Skipping school costs a dozen B.C. students chance at a new car

Cowichan’s Jared Lammi showed up and won $5,000 cheque toward vehicle, but he can’t drive

BC Ferries adds extra and late night summer sailings

Seasonal adjustments to sailing times also in effect on many routes

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

Province comes through with funding for Charleigh Fales

Lake Cowichan toddler only one in B.C. diagnosed with CLN2 Batten disease

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

“Approaching and feeding bears contributes to habituation,” says conservation group

Most Read