Saanich mulls overnight shelter ban in 25 more parks
If approved, 81 Saanich parks would still be available for overnight shelter. (CTV Vancouver Island)
Published Thursday, March 7, 2019 12:02PM PST
Last Updated Thursday, March 7, 2019 4:46PM PST
Saanich staff are recommending council add 25 more parks to the city's no-camping list.
Of the more than 170 Saanich parks, currently 64 do not permit temporary overnight sheltering. Under the new proposal, a total of 89 parks would be off-limits for people seeking temporary overnight shelter.
According to Saanich bylaws, overnight camping is permitted in certain parks between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m.
Council had requested that staff review the definition of parks allowed for overnight sheltering and refine the list of allowable parks.
Of the 25 parks being recommended to the no-shelter list, only two are over a hectare in size.
Most are small neighbourhood parks. The most significant park being considered is Tillicum Park, which was added to the no-shelter list last summer. This recommendation from staff would merely formalize that addition.
In a report scheduled to be presented to council Monday, staff say they “considered a number of criteria including: landlocked parks, setbacks from park structures such as playgrounds and sports fields, and environmental concerns such as areas listed in the Sensitive Ecosystem Inventory and the provincial Conservation Data Centre.”
The report also says Saanich Police and the Saanich Fire Department support the proposed changes.
Staff are asking council to approve the proposed amendment to the bylaw on Monday.
If approved, 81 Saanich parks would still be available for overnight shelter.
For more information on current temporary overnight shelter rules in Saanich click here.