District of North Van won’t fine wharf jumpers

North Shore News

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A group of teens leap from the wharf in Deep Cove in July 2015. file photo Cindy Goodman, North Shore News

The District of North Vancouver may not be fine with people jumping off its wharves, but it won’t fine them for doing it.

Council voted during Monday’s meeting to rescind a piece of its new parks bylaw that would have fined people $200 if they were caught jumping off one of the district’s public wharves, such as the one in Deep Cove.

“This was obviously not a very popular move,” noted Coun. Lisa Muri. “I think we’ve got a lot of bylaw issues to deal with in the District of North Vancouver and chasing kids off that pier in the summer when it’s hot, I don’t think it should be our No. 1 priority.”

The district passed its new parks bylaw – its first in more than 40 years – on April 30.

The new rules set out to regulate certain unauthorized commercial activities, such as guided foot tours and exercise classes, from operating in district parks without a permit, as well as prohibit flying drones, playing golf or practising archery in parks.

But some people took exception to the part of the bylaw fining people for jumping off district wharves, with many, including some councillors, seeing that activity as something of a rite of passage for young people.

Staff were later directed to take another look at it and come back with suggestions.

While the district remains reticent about people jumping off its wharves given the marine and boat traffic in Deep Cove, participants won’t be fined for taking the plunge.

Instead, the district will focus on letting people know about potential risks when it comes to jumping off its wharves or piers.

“I hope that we put out a communication to our neighbours … and talk to them about boats coming towards the wharf and the float and the pier,” Muri said.

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