Penticton's nude Three Mile Beach won't get official recognition from city

Naturists are upset after the city of Penticton opted out of officially designating Three Mile Beach as clothing optional.

Earlier this month, city councillors voted to have staff look into options to find a solution that satisfied both naturists and upset property owners.

Their decision was to keep the status quo and that's not sitting well with naturists.

"It was extremely disappointing and disrespectful," Kevin Proteau, spokesperson for the Three Mile Naturist Beach Committee told Daybreak South's Jaimie Kehler.

"They claimed that we were pushing people out. If you felt pushed out, it's because of your own bias."

The group wanted council to approve the implementation of a sign on the beach warning beach-goers that nudity may be present.

"It is actually a federal issue so they can't make it an official naturist beach, but they could have at least put a warning so no one would be offended."

Mayor: Decision frustrating but necessary

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit admits the decision is not ideal, but a necessary one.

"The legal opinion is that public nudity can be a criminal offense and the municipality doesn't have the jurisdiction to enforce that. That left our hands somewhat legally tied, and I agree it's a little bit frustrating."

Although Jakubeit said public opinion also played a role in council's decision. 

"It's on a public beach within a stone's throw of neighbourhoods. That's where there was some tension and concern from council to say maybe it's not the best place at the end of the day."

Despite the decision, Proteau and his committee say they will continue to use the beach despite protests from nearby property owners.