This horse was recently ‘parked’ outside the BC Liquor Store at Wembley Mall in Parksville. — Dawn Topolnicki photo

Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says city official

Parksville is a small neigh-bourhood.

You don’t see horsing around in the city. But when someone ponies up an unusual situation, people are quick to whinny about it.

Dawn Topolnicki moved to Parksville a year ago to escape the stressful hustle and bustle of the big city. She said she has savoured the smalltown atmosphere of Parksville. That feeling was reinforced recently as it had her heart galloping at full throttle.

“It sure hit home when visiting the local liquor store,” Topolnicki said. “I came upon a singing cowboy riding this lovely horse. He parked the horse in an [accessible] spot and made his way into the store. The universe was telling me that we were not in the big city anymore.”

READ MORE: Camera captures cougar lurking in Parksville’s Foster Park area

But it did raise the question of whether the steed was illegally parked or not in a spot that requires a disabled parking permit.

According to the City of Parksville, it is not illegal as there is no law on animals parked in an accessible parking space.

“No bylaw so no ticket, no enforcement,” said Deb Tardiff, the city’s manager of communications. “Having said that, if the [unidentified] owner of the horse should choose to take their purchase from Wembley Mall to the Parksville Community Park for a gallop on the beach, there would be enforcement because the city’s bylaw does not allow horses on the beach… assuming we can catch them. There is no fine, just prohibition.”

Tardiff said she’s learned from the city’s bylaw compliance officer that it is also illegal for a horse to jaywalk.

“They must cross at an actual crossing or intersection,” she quipped. “The fine for this and for not being properly tethered would be $50.”

michael.briones@pqbnews.com

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