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

Jumbo saga reaches finale

A three-decade long disagreement comes to a close.

Almost 20,000 parking tickets issued by Interior Health at hospitals in 2019

In 2018, pay parking in Interior Health hospitals totalled $5.3 million of their $2.2-billion budget

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Former Waterside property to be rezoned?

Invermere residents supported rezoning Waterside property.

Angel Flight

Flights take patients for medical appointments.

VIDEO: Trudeau insists Iran respect families’ wishes when it comes to burials

All 176 people on board the Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 were killed

Jagmeet Singh says NDP caucus will discuss whether to support new NAFTA

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said steps to ratify the new NAFTA are top of mind

Province asks health-care staff to be ‘vigilant’ in screening for possible coronavirus cases

This comes after U.S. health officials confirmed a case of the virus in Washington State

University of Victoria tells stories of Holocaust survivors with graphic novels

International storytelling initiative launched first meetings this winter

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

B.C. player becomes only second Canadian to enter Hall of Fame of Baseball

Walker received 76.6 percent of the Baseball Writers of America Association vote

PHOTOS: Heavy snowfall breaks window, causing avalanche into B.C. newsroom office

It was a chaotic start to the week for the Kitimat Northern Sentinel

Most Read