District staff against extension of Okanagan Tiki Bar liquor service, citing drug use and safety concerns | iNFOnews

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(ROB MUNRO / iNFOnews.ca)

June 05, 2022 – 2:33 PM

Central Okanagan board members should deny an application to extend a liquor patio service on an Okanagan Lake beach because of the safety concerns, staff say.

Okanagan Lake Resort is applying for an extension of an application which allows it to continue with the expansion of its liquor service area on the beach, according to a report that will be presented to Regional District of Central Okanagan board members, June 9. The Okanagan Beach Club operates the Tiki Bar on the beach.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Provincial Health Officer’s orders, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch allowed businesses to expand their service areas beginning in May 2020 to be able to follow physical distancing guidelines. Most businesses did this with an expansion of patio services.

Staff oppose the extension because they’ve “identified a number of concerns related to noise, unsafe boating, fire safety and inadequate emergency plans.”

In the last five years, the West Kelowna RCMP said they responded to 169 calls at Okanagan Lake Resort.

The fire department is concerned with the resort’s emergency egress, increased medical calls for intoxication and drug overdose and inadequate emergency plans, according to the report.

“Bylaw Services has also responded to various complaints including noise, open fires, overflowing garbage (attracting nuisance bears) and COVID-19 Public Health Order related offenses,” according to the report.

The Tiki Bar was temporarily closed in September 2020 after it violated COVID-19 regulations.

The West Kelowna RCMP also identified issues with crowd sizes, inadequate parking and remoteness for a quick response time to the Okanagan Beach Club.

“Given this, the West Kelowna RCMP is not in an ideal position to deal safely and effectively with any large crowd control or alcohol-related occurrence.”

An additional business license application has been submitted to the regional district for the third-party contractor, the Okanagan Beach Club, to run the event center, restaurant, and Tiki Bar, according to the report.

“Protective Services note extending this (application) may continue to deplete police and fire resources and negatively impact the health, safety, and security of patrons.”

Regional district staff recommend the board does not support the Temporary Expanded Service Area application for the Lake Okanagan Resort liquor license.

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