Some people alleged to have trespassed on private property while walking to Penticton’s nude beach have now been exposed online.
The website — www.3milebeach.com — went live in late 2014 with photos captured by a surveillance camera focused on the trail leading to a disputed portion of Three Mile Beach traditionally used by nudists.
Photos posted online appear to show dozens of people, all of whom are clothed, headed to the beach with their gear. There are also two videos of a man alleged to have stolen a surveillance camera.
Visitors to the site are encouraged to email the administrator with tips about the beach goers’ identities.
Katya Kuzina said via email the website was created by a group of nearby property owners such as herself to fight back against the nudists they claim have taken over a public portion of the beach after being run off the private property they used to frequent.
“We are looking for assistance to identify all of the trespassers. The neighbourhood has not ruled out a lawsuit against these people,” said Kuzina.
Kuzina claimed all of the videos and photos already posted were recorded on private property above the high-water mark that separates private property from Crown land.
“All people walked around numerous private property signs,” she added.
Kuzina said the group will continue filming when beach season arrives and intends to continue exposing nudists on the public beach who are “clearly violating the rights of many.”
Dustin Wolchina, an unofficial spokesman for the nude beach users, said in a statement on behalf of all naturists that www.3milebeach.com is “damaging the reputation of Penticton’s overall general community.”
“Many of the people in the images are not naturist, and have never been nude at any of the beaches in the Okanagan, but are being slandered,” he said, adding the group is looking for community support from those who believe a nude beach contributes positively to the local economy.
Wolchina also claimed the trail featured in the photographs is not private property and was not damaged by people using it.
Penticton RCMP spokesman Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said Thursday he was unaware of the website, but confirmed police have recommended Crown approve theft charges related to the disappearance of a surveillance camera.
As for the legality of the website itself, Dellebuur said it doesn’t appear to be an issue for police.
“They’re not necessarily governed by the same privacy laws as we are as a public entity. However, they still have to be mindful that people can take civil action against them for a variety of reasons,” he said.
Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said council is aware of issues at Three Mile Beach and “looking into some options and solutions” to resolve concerns there.