Vancouver Park Board doubles down on doobies at Sunset Beach

Vancouver Courier

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Damage from last year’s 4/20 rally at Sunset Beach caused the temporary closure of fields near Sunset Beach.
Photograph By DAN TOULGOET

The Vancouver Park Board has yet again reaffirmed its opposition to Friday’s 4/20 rally at Sunset Beach.

A news release issued Tuesday morning circled back to talking points board members have emphasized for years.

“The Park Board does not believe this event is an appropriate use of park space because it violates our no smoking bylaws and has negative consequences for park users and infrastructure,” the news release states. “The Board has declined to give organizers a permit as the event does not meet our criteria for issuing a special event permit.”

Looked at as part rally and part protest, the inaugural Sunset session ran up a price tag of $150,000 in 2016. Last year that number rose dramatically to $245,000: $170,600 for policing, $34,600 for the park board and $25,000 for engineering were the highest expenditures.

About 40,000 people attended.

The wet weather prior to last year’s event saw widespread damage to the fields around the beach, causing temporary closures.

Event organizer Dana Larsen told the Courier in March that his group paid $7,000 for those repairs. He said on Twitter Tuesday that his group has committed $30,000 to protective materials to mitigate any damage come Friday.

The park board news release says that park rangers are in the process of communicating with those living near Sunset Beach about what’s coming down the pipe on Friday: big crowds, traffic impacts and potential health concerns.

The board also announced that parts of the seawall near Sunset Beach, along with Sunset Concession and the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, will be temporarily closed on Friday.

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