Metro Vancouver proposes fines for people who leave items at parks

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Metro Vancouver Regional District officials are raising concerns over members of the public who leave their items at regional parks.

Park users often leave large items like barbeques, bicycles and coolers in regional parks overnight to use when they return the next day. These items are usually locked to picnic tables or fences.

But what particularly troubles the regional district is when these items are simply abandoned by the public, which adds a direct removal cost to Metro Vancouver and causes public safety issues.

“Last summer, there was an incident at Pacific Spirit Regional Park that raised significant public safety concerns,” Mitch Sokalski, Director of Metro Vancouver Regional Parks, told Vancity Buzz.

“Someone left two sea kayaks on the beach, which could have been used by children and people without the proper skills and we believed the kayaks had to be removed for public safety.”

The current bylaws do not allow the regional district to tackle this issue, but a proposed bylaw amendment could provide Metro Vancouver with the capability to ticket violators who deliberately abandon or store their belongings in a regional park.

The regional district’s board of directors will convene on April 17 to vote on the bylaw changes. If approved, a fine of $125 and a late penalty payment of $155 will go into effect immediately.

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