Council wants Tourism Board’s feedback on allowing special event camping at city facilities

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – City Council wants to get feedback from the Fort St. John Tourism Board before making a decision on whether or not to allow overnight camping at city parks and facilities during special events.

In a report that went before Council at Monday’s meeting, Pool Manager Karin Carlson recommended including the option of overnight camping at recreation facilities as part of the permitting process for special events on municipal property.

Camping is currently not permitted in City parks, and Carlson was recommending that City staff be able to grant approval for overnight camping during special events on a case-by-case basis.

Among the examples of events given by Carlson that would request camping permission include: slo-pitch tournaments in Surerus Park, lacrosse tournaments at the Pomeroy Sport Centre, and swim meets at the North Peace Leisure Pool.

Communications Coordinator Ryan Harvey explained that the City has received numerous requests over the years to allow camping in close proximity to sporting events, something that is currently permitted at the ball diamonds in Taylor and Chetwynd.

Overnight camping is also permitted at parks in Dawson Creek during special events, though unlike in Carlson’s proposal, approval must be given by Council.

City Manager Dianne Hunter supported the recommendation, though did include in her comments that Council may wish to refer this report to the Tourism Board for input and comment, which is what Council decided to do in the end.

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