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

PHOTOS: Chilliwack Terry Fox Run in the rain

Wet weather didn’t dampen spirits or enthusiasm for the annual cancer fundraiser

Chilliwack’s Belle Voci brings three-day a cappella festival to Fraser Valley

Singers will learn from two of Lower Mainland’s best music leaders at Belle Voci A Cappella Festival

Man charged with stealing Chief Dan George sculpture from Abbotsford school

Piece turned up in Mission pawn shop after Chilliwack artist noticed it missing this summer

New real-time location technology coming soon to Fraser Valley buses

Waiting riders will be able to see location of their bus using their phones

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Sept. 16 to 22

VIDEO: Liberals make child care pledge, Greens unveil platform on Day 6 of campaign

Green party leader Elizabeth May unveils her party’s platform in Toronto

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

RCMP conclude investigation into 2017 Elephant Hill wildfire

Files have been turned over to BC Prosecution Service

B.C. wants to be part of global resolution in opioid company bankruptcy claim

Government says settlement must include Canadian claims for devastation created by overdose crisis

Guilty plea in Lower Mainland break-and-enter spree

Gordon Vincent Gladstone, 42, was charged with 12 counts relating to a dozen incidents in late 2018

Vancouver police officer hit with bear spray mid-arrest

Officer had been trying to arrest a woman wanted province-wide

B.C. ends ‘birth alerts’ in child welfare cases

‘Social service workers will no longer share information about expectant parents without consent’

U.S. student, killed in Bamfield bus crash, remembered as ‘kind, intelligent, talented’

John Geerdes, 18, was one of two UVic students killed in the crash on Friday night

Most Read