qRD coverage prohibits tenting in particular parks

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qRD does not want overnight stays in Klah Ah Men Lund Gazebo Regional Park or other regional parks of the same category

Following an application by a couple who are getting married and want to camp at a day park, the Qathet Regional District (qRD) overall committee recommends that camping is not allowed.

At the May 12 committee meeting, directors received a staff report prepared at the request of the committee from April 14 of the full meeting requesting the regional board to grant an exemption from the bylaws and allow overnight camping at Klah Ah Men Lund Gazebo Regional Park. According to the staff report, the couple have a special use permit for the park in June for a wedding reception and a liquor license for the event. The couple requested that wedding guests be able to camp overnight in the park after the celebration was complete.

Electoral Area A director Patrick Brabazon said the staff report on the matter and the policy was pretty clear.

“I want to get this report and let the applicants know that the policy doesn’t allow camping in this park,” Brabazon said.

Committee chair and Director of Constituency D Sandy McCormick said the staff report outlined three options. Brabazon said he recommends the first option, which says the regional board recommends employees not to change the parks ordinance. The option provides that staff will continue the current practice of issuing special permits for events and event attendees will not be entitled to overnight stays.

According to the report, about 50 special permits are issued each year, most of which are issued at Palm Beach, Craig and Lund Gazebo regional parks, including school beach days, small birthday parties, weddings and music festivals.

With the option supported by Brabazon, there was a proposed motion that said: that the committee recommend direct staff to the board to continue current practices related to special permits for events and overnight camping in regional parks, and that the board exchange correspondence with Rita Dubman and Ilya sends Samutin, the applicants, informing them that due to security issues and possible impact on private property, permission to camp in the pavilion park will be denied.

Andrew Fall, director of Electoral Area E, said his heart is in wanting to help people, but when you get into the details of what that means, it’s challenging.

“Given our challenges, it doesn’t make sense to ask our operational services manager to do more work at this time to explore other options,” Fall said. “I am in favor of proceeding with the recommendation.”

The committee voted in favor of Brabazon’s motion.

The staff report states that there are no regular staff overseeing day parks. Both campgrounds at Haywire Bay and Shelter Point have caretakers who regularly patrol the campgrounds, dealing with noise complaints and making sure parties or gatherings are broken up before it’s too late.