Once-secret nude beach lays bare B.C. village parking woes
Published Wednesday, July 5, 2017 12:08PM EDT
Residents of Lions Bay, B.C. are bummed out by the parking situation in their seaside community, where their once-secret nude beach is bringing in far more visitors than the community can bear.
Sunbathers have been flocking to the clothing-optional Brunswick Beach in Lions Bay, along the Sea-to-Sky Highway north of Vancouver. The beach is one of the few officially clothing-optional spots in the area, and it's become popular on social media as a primarily adults-only destination for those looking to shed their threads.
But locals say its rise in popularity is making it hard for them to navigate their own community, as residents deal with vehicles parked around blind curves, in people's driveways and all along the road on weekends, regardless of whether or not it's legal to park in those places.
The village issues fines for vehicles that are parked illegally, but it doesn't tow the offending vehicles out of the way. The village has also made it illegal for any non-residents to park at the beach.
Mayor Karl Buhr says he's trying to balance the needs of community residents and the tourism industry. But that's becoming more difficult with the exposure the village is getting from Brunswick Beach.
"I would say there are more people than we can handle," he told CTV Vancouver on Wednesday.
Local resident Chase Taylor Robbins says the popularity of Brunswick Beach sometimes makes it difficult for him to drive home off the highway.
"Sometimes it's even hard to take the exit off," he told CTV Vancouver. "There's cars parked on each side."
Andrea Klas, who also lives in Lions Bay, says the surge in visitors has made it uncomfortable for those who live there.
"There's no space for residents," she said, adding that she's had some unpleasant encounters with beachgoers in recent weeks. "People knock on my door and ask me if they can use my washroom," she said.
Her son, Lucas, says he's also seen more than he'd like to see of the in-the-buff beachgoers.
"They literally were walking right up (the road), and we were looking at them and going, 'Oh my God, this is so weird,'" the boy said.
Buhr says the community is building a paid parking lot to deal with the influx of visitors. He's also calling for beachgoers to respect the town's parking bylaws, whether or not they are able to find a legal parking spot.
"You're very welcome," he said. "But when we're full, we're full."