Residents, ‘crazy nudists’ clash in B.C. beach battle

iStockphoto, Getty Images

Nude potlucks, plummeting property values, a swinger’s beach, and a shaming website are part of a bizarre beach dispute in British Columbia.

Residents near Three Mile Beach on Okanagan Lake are asking local officials to crack down on nudists they say have turned the area into a sandy sex haven and driven down their property values.

For years, nudists have used a secluded section of Three Mile Beach, but property owners decided to block off the area, reportedly because the beach had gradually become a “kinky” sex spot, according to one local man.

Resident Matt Fraser told Penticton city council he’d found sex toys and used condoms on the beach, and that others had spotted men masturbating in the bushes and having sex.

So when they tried blocking off the beach with security guards, signs, fencing, and cameras, it backfired badly, driving the nudists onto a public part of the beach.

Property owners also created a shaming/surveillance website, showing videos and pictures of aspiring exposers (all photos are censored, so don’t get excited).

Fraser claims the nudity is sabotaging his attempts to sell his home. He says he spoke with two different appraisers, and “both mentioned that all the media attention with a protesting nudist who won’t leave looks bad. In one of the appraiser’s words, ‘makes them look like a bunch of crazy nudists.’ Who wants to buy a house or property with a bunch of nudists who won’t leave?”

Some residents say the nudists are violating section 174 of the Criminal Code, which bars nudity in a public place. However, the courts are vague and inconsistent on what constitutes illegal nudity.

In 1971, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled “nude sunbathing is not of sufficient moral turpitude to support a charge for doing an indecent act.” However, public sex and masturbating in the bushes certainly would.

Not being the easily-shamed types, some of the nudists also made their case to city council, which is now weighing whether the beach can remain clothing-optional.

Find a Lawyer