UBC high-rise residences to overlook nude beach
By Marshall Bellamy
What can cramp anyone’s style at a nude beach in sunny
British Columbia? Nothing really, except for a few 20-storey
high-rise residences that offer rooms with a view.
The University of British Columbia is building four new high-rise
residence buildings overlooking Wreak Beach, an area that is
renowned for its birds and its beaches — of the nude
Judy Williams, chair of the Wreak Beach Preservation Society,
said she has been fighting a battle against the UBC administration
to relocate the new buildings, noting these buildings will
erode the cliffs they are built upon and adversely affect wildlife,
particularly eagles which breed and migrate in the region.
“It would destroy the beach as we know it and as future
generations would know the beach,” she said, adding the
university has an obligation to consider the costs to the environment
and the community in building the residences in such a scenic
Williams also pointed out other ramifications the construction
would have on the clothing-optional beach, which she stated
would be in clear view from the windows of the student residences.
“There are students who aren’t used to nudity,” she
declared. “You’ll get parents confronting the university,” she
added, noting BC’s lax enforcement of nudity laws could
change for the worse if the nude beach is placed before the
public in such a birds-eye view fashion.
Stepane Deschênes, media relations director of the Federation
of Canadian Naturalists, an organization committed to representing
and endorsing nudism, dismissed Williams’ fears over
the future of the nude beach. “The beach is a public
beach, so that’s not as much of a concern.
“The issue isn’t really a naturalist one, but
preserving the beach itself,” he added.
Dennis Pavlich, VP-external affairs of UBC defended the university’s
decision to build the residence overlooking Wreak Beach. “It’s
an ideal spot, it’s close to the academic heart of the
university, it’s where most of the other residences are
located ,” he said, “[and] it’s very pretty.”
The residence will not have a view of the nude beach below,
he said, noting a clear view of the beach is only visible from
12 metres higher than the proposed height of the buildings. “We
will not encroach on the privacy of the bathers.”