White Rock snuffs charcoal beach barbecues
The days of charcoal barbecues on White Rock’s West Beach are numbered.
Following two split votes that left the issue in limbo in May – and a vote 18 months ago to keep them – council gave unanimous support Monday to have the seven grills removed from Bayview Park.
The decision marks a change of heart for one councillor.
Coun. Al Campbell had initially supported keeping the barbecues, disagreeing with claims by area residents that the smoke was an offensive health hazard. At a May 28 meeting, he noted coal trains that pass along the waterfront are far more concerning.
Monday, Campbell said that after observing the barbecues in use, he had “reason to change my mind.” That reason, he noted, stems from the “ignorant abuse” of the amenity. He cited the burning of plastic cutlery and other inappropriate items as among incidents of misuse.
“Would I like this happening outside my house? The answer is no,” Campbell said.
Coun. Helen Fathers – who had also previously supported retaining the barbecues – noted the bigger issue is of people dragging wood up from the beach to burn, and that existing bylaws lack the teeth necessary to discourage the practices.
In addition to supporting removal of the barbecues, council backed a motion by Fathers’ to have staff review and update the relevant bylaw to make it clear that the burning of such material is prohibited.