White Rock council say closure of the city’s pier, promenade and parking lots are not under consideration at this time, but have approved other COVID-19 options for the waterfront including stepped-up RCMP patrols that are already part of detachment planning. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock council say closure of the city’s pier, promenade and parking lots are not under consideration at this time, but have approved other COVID-19 options for the waterfront including stepped-up RCMP patrols that are already part of detachment planning. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock pier, promenade, parking lot closures off the table – for now

Council members warn decision subject to future provincial health orders

The City of White Rock is sending a strong message that it is not considering closing the pier, the promenade or the waterfront parking lots as part of current efforts to impede the spread of COVID-19 – for now.

Council voted in the majority to support a motion on this from Coun. Scott Kristjanson, at a special virtual meeting called April 21 to consider a list of options submitted by staff.

The only negative votes were cast by Coun. Helen Fathers and Mayor Darryl Walker, who had argued that the city might want to keep all options on the table as circumstances, and provincial health orders, might change swiftly.

But Kristjanson said his motion already noted that such decisions were ultimately subject to provincial health orders.

“We might have to rethink this on Monday, or we might have to rethink it a month from now,” Kristjanson noted, while holding fast to his assertion that council still needed to quell rumours of such closures at present.

“We’ve seen many comments and social media posts from people who are concerned that this council is thinking of closing the pier, the promenade and the parking lots,” he said, in making his original motion.

“We need to make a statement making it clear that (these) are not on the table.”

READ ALSO: Council to consider ‘prevention measures as crowds flock to White Rock beach

READ ALSO: White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

Kristjanson received support from Coun. Christopher Trevelyan.

“I don’t believe this is saying that we won’t consider closing anything down in perpetuity, but right now there is a lot of concern in the community,” Trevelyan said.

At the suggestion of chief administrative officer Guillermo Ferrero, council whittled down the list of options, originally presented by Fire Chief Ed Wolfe on Monday (April 19).

In addition to removing closures of parking lots and waterfront areas, discussions of limiting traffic on Marine Drive were referred to council’s next regular meeting on Monday, April 26, at which it will receive a full report on potentially limiting the road to one-way traffic in a bid to add additional patio and walkway space to avoid overcrowding.

Council also endorsed an adjustment of the bylaw enforcement officer schedule and the hiring of additional casual officers, to increase their presence on Marine Drive during peak hours.

Planning and development services director Carl Isaak, under whose purview the enforcement officers fall, said the schedule adjustment could be achieved without further resources or budgeting, while financial services director Colleen Ponzini told council that the $28,000 cost for casual enforcement officers would likely be covered under the federal-provincial COVID recovery grant.

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls told council that staff’s suggested increase in police presence on Marine Drive is already covered by an existing plan for the summer months (starting at the beginning of May and running through September) and that it would be within the current budget due to the cancellation of a number of special events this year.

Council also supported continuing a communications process to discourage outside visits and reinforce distancing and masking protocols. This would include LED sign messaging, additional waterfront COVID-19 signage (and replacement of missing signs), a banner on the pier, news releases, website updates and social media posts.



alex.browne@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City of White RockCoronavirusTourism

Just Posted

A group fitness class at the Mission Leisure Centre. / File Photo courtesy of District of Mission
Mission to participate in the ParticipACTION Community Better Challenge

Event runs from June 1-30 and organizers hope Mission can be named Canada’s Most Active Community

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

The Fraser Valley Bandits have signed guard Gentrey Thomas for the 2021 CEBL season. (Fraser Valley Bandits photo)
Fraser Valley Bandits sign guard Gentrey Thomas

Abbotsford-based basketball club signs former UC Riverside talent

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

(Vancouver Police Department)
Vancouver police expect violence to escalate, ID 6 gangsters who pose ‘public safety risk’

VPD asking public to stay away from these six people, who they say may be targeted in shootings

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read