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Liquor to be allowed at more Delta parks, year-round

The majority of Delta’s ‘significant parks’ are included in the expanded program
Staff last year also conducted a legal review of the bylaw and made some adjustments, including expanding the boundaries where liquor was allowed in the parks. City of Delta image

You will be able to enjoy a cold beer or other alcoholic beverage at more Delta parks, and now year-round.

Council on Monday gave the thumbs-up to a staff recommendation to expand the number of parks that can have designated areas for public consumption of alcohol.

Now, 21 park sites will allow drinking.

The pilot program began two years ago, running from June 1 through Sept. 30, at Diefenbaker Park, Memorial Park and North Delta Community Park, from 11 dusk, seven days a week.

Staff noted the program was generally well received by the community and had few complaints.

The biggest issue was waste left on the ground, a problem rectified in large part with the addition of more garbage and recycling receptacles.

A staff report notes that expanding the program year-round, and to additional park locations in each community, will further enhance residents’ enjoyment at the selected parks.

“Staff contacted the City of Port Coquitlam and the City of North Vancouver to inquire about the status of their programs. Both cities expanded their pilot programs to year-round with minimal concerns. Staff also reached out to the Delta Police Department and bylaws for comment on expanding Delta’s program to year-round and to the additional locations. Neither expressed concerns with expanding the program to year-round,” the report notes.

“Staff will conduct a detailed analysis at the end of 2023 to assess the impacts of the proposed expanded program, with consideration for further expansion to neighbourhood parks, or to adapt the program to address any issues that arise.”

The additional sites include Delview, Annieville, Sunbury, Sunstone, Mackie, Chalmers, Gunderson, Westview, Wade, John Oliver, Holly, Hawthorne, Ladner Harbour, Dugald Morrison, Cromie, Brandrith, Winskill, and Pebble Hill parks.

The majority of the proposed locations have on-site amenities, while liquor won’t be permitted in playgrounds, splash parks, sport fields and sport courts, parking lots, as well as areas of dense vegetation.

City manager Sean McGill told council, Sunstone is the only park without a washroom, but it is a site mostly used by the surrounding homes. After a review, portable washrooms may be added if needed, or the site may even be removed from the list.

Coun. Dylan Kruger, who had put forward the motion to expand the program, said it will give those who don’t have yards and their own greenspace an opportunity to also enjoy the outdoors with their friends.