Waterfront redos seem to be in vogue these days, and the article in the Vancouver Sun by Kent Spencer describes the City of White Rock’s proposal for the city’s waterfront, complete with a seaside walkway and amenities. If you know the City of White Rock which is surrounded on three sides by the City of Surrey and is situated on Semiahmoo Bay, space between the beach and the road is-well, sparse, and replete with railroad tracks. To remedy this, the City is planning on reclaiming 6,500 square metres of land from the ocean to create a waterfront park. The cost of the reclamation is $15 million dollars, with another $15 million being proposed for a marina expansion, a memorial park, seabed dredging, marine buoys and…wait for it…$5.5 million dollars for a waterfront parkade.
The Vancouver Sun article focuses on the fact that this $30 million dollar proposal is just as much as the City’s budget of $35 million dollars. Comment also centres on the proposed public art, the environmental impacts of a raised sea wall, and whether the local residents will have to pay through taxes for these improvements. I was curious about the $5.5 million dollars for a waterfront parkade. This would of course house the vehicles of visitors coming from outside White Rock to enjoy the new waterfront, and stop those people from parking on streets. With a population of 20,000, White Rock has a high percentage of restaurants per capita, and the article suggests people from Metro Vancouver will come to use the new park, park their car in the parkade, and utilise the restaurants. It would be so much more fun to be able to train to White Rock, or take transit and find a way to bring a bike to go along the seawall.
The intent is to make White Rock a “year-round destination”. It appears that Council has committed financing to its five-year plan. Time to fire up that vehicle and make plans for lunch in White Rock.