This is an open letter sent to the Mayor and Council:
Dear Mayor and Council,
We are writing to express our concern over the intent of 4/20 festival organizers to host a large event at Sunset Beach in spite of the Parks Board not permitting the event. We strongly encourage the Mayor and Council to work with festival organizers and to enforce unpermitted events.
As a grass roots community group we have heard from many neighbours about their concerns with a large unpermitted festival taking place in a neighbourhood park.
Air Quality concerns top the list. As you are aware the West End is a densley populated community. In the 3-4 blocks immediately northeast and northwest of the Sunset Beach site there are approximately 5000 occupied dwellings with a total of 9100 residents. (Census tracts 9330060.01 and 9330060.02)
As an organization primarily interested in the needs of children and families we are concerned with the issue of air quality as it relates to Little Beach & Beach YMCA Child Care center (1475 Burrard Street) center and Aquatic Center. Both were in the thick of the haze last year. We have reports from parents who will be unable to work on April 20 because they cannot safely send their child to daycare.
Other concerns we heard from community members was that clean up after the event was insufficient and that traffic management was insufficient for an event of this size.
Many large festivals/ events are hosted or pass through the West End and proper steps are taken to ensure that safety and security of residents and visitors are properly managed. Some of the permitted events include:
Celebration of Light
Car free day
Scotia bank half marathon
We would like to see Council and festival organizers work to find suitable festival locations. Our hope is that City Council will hold large unpermitted festivals and their organizers accountable for their actions. This includes but is not limited to; clean up, traffic management, and police enforcement.
Thank you for your consideration of this matter,