Ucluelet residents are raising concerns over the impacts late-night beach fire gatherings are having on Big Beach. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Ucluelet residents are raising concerns over the impacts late-night beach fire gatherings are having on Big Beach. (Nora O’Malley photo)

Big Beach parties spark concern in Ucluelet

“You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires.”

Residents of Ucluelet’s Primera estates are growing increasingly concerned about the size of fires and rising number of late-night gatherings at Big Beach.

Strata manager Christine Brice wrote a letter to mayor and council on behalf of the owners at Primera, the properties overlooking Big Beach.

“Along with noise disrupting the sleep of Primera residents, the next morning, still burning fires, broken glass bottles and, in a few cases, needles are left behind with other debris. These items create safety concerns for the families that then come to use the beach during the day,” reads the letter to council dated May 5, 2020.

“The Owners of Primera recommend that the District of Ucluelet implement a curfew at Big Beach of 11:00 p.m. This would empower Bylaw staff to ensure the park is empty at 11:00 p.m. as well as give the RCMP tools for enforcement not reliant on complaints,” the letter concludes.

Primera owner Ron Clayton spoke at the June 9 regular council meeting on behalf of the Strata.

“What we’ve been recognizing the last couple of seasons is it’s really cranked up in the intensity post midnight. It gets to be quite something down there,” said Clayton.

“I have no issue with beach fires,” he stressed. “It’s part of the culture and enjoying living here. It seems that after 11, after 12, then that’s kind of it. Honestly, I’ve been here for seven, eight years, and the last couple it’s gotten really intense. I would say that some people are living down there. We just don’t know what to do,” said Clayton.

Currently, the district bylaw for parks and public spaces are to close from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning, according to Ucluelet’s manager of community planning Bruce Greig.

“It is a matter of enforcement and staffing and when they are on. One of the changes we’ve put in place for this summer season is we’ve shifted their work week, so our bylaw officer is working covering the weekends,” said Greig at the June 9 council meeting.

Greig went on to say that when the gatherings that go on into the very late in the evening, that would then be a call to the RCMP.

Mayor Mayco Noel said during his monthly luncheon with Ucluelet’s top cop Sgt. Steve Mancini, he inquired about the late night policing concerns at Big Beach. He said calls to 9-1-1 at 3 a.m. go to a dispatch in Courtenay.

“They will, at that time, the staff sergeant will determine if that warrants a local detachment officer being paged to go there or do you let them still sleep. Sometimes it’s just the roll of the dice if there is, in fact, an RCMP officer that is on shift that evening. That would answer why some of the tenants made calls and that no one showed up. It’s not that it’s not an important call, it’s simply with staffing reasons,” said Noel.

The Primera strata continues to urge the district to implement a curfew.

“It’s chronic problem. You find needles, left over party debris, bottles and still burning fires. We don’t want people to stop gathering, we think the idea of a curfew would give us some teeth,” said Brice.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
nora.omalley@westerlynews.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ: Ucluelet receives $1M for multi-use space at Amphitrite Point

READ: Ucluelet artists launch pop-up art exhibition

READ: Ucluelet dedicates off-leash dog park

beachesucluelet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

A sign outside Ucluelet’s Blue Room on Monday morning advises patrons that the restaurant has gone back to take-out only. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Some Ucluelet restaurants heading back to take-out only as COVID-19 concerns rise

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel urges residents to be respectul of business owners’ decisions.

A sign at the entrance to Ty-Histanis asks visitors to stay out of the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation announces lockdown after member tests positive for COVID-19

Essential travel only and restricted to Tofino and Ucluelet.

Tofino Sea Kayaking staff Sable Trafton holds a gift card they are contributing ‘12 Days of Jingle’ draw. One lucky local will has the chance to win $500 worth of gift cards to local merchants. (TLCC photo)
Tofino’s 12 Days of Jingle kicks off holiday season

“We wanted to do it early so people could make purchases and send them wherever they need to go.”

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Most Read