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

Police investigating fatal collision near Grave Lake

Grave Lake is located approximately halfway between Sparwood and Elkford

Chefs dominate the wild “Untamed Kootenays”

Sixty lucky guests were treated to a special night of culinary excellence… Continue reading

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over pollution from Elk Valley mines

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines

People throwing food at a bear in Fernie alarms conservation groups

Wildlife conservation groups in the Elk Valley are encouraging individuals to be… Continue reading

Sushi, sake and silk kimono

“The Kimono of Ichimaru” opening night at Fernie Museum attracts sellout crowd

BREAKING: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

Elk Valley Bulls RFC reclaim Kootenay Cup

Elk Valley beats Cranbrook 7-5 to win Kootenay Cup; team off to provincials in September

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read