‘No one has defined White Rock’s unique character’

City survey indicates dissatisfaction with quality of buildings.

Residents take a look at information on display at a White Rock Vision Fair in May

How do White Rock residents and business owners define the city’s unique character?

That is one of the biggest questions to arise from the city’s recent ‘Imagine White Rock 2045’ survey, according to Karen Cooper, the city’s director of planning and development.

In a report to council Monday, Cooper outlined some of the findings of the survey, noting the city’s character stood out as something that came up frequently in respondents’ written comments.

“Many people said we need to protect White Rock’s unique character, but no one has defined what White Rock’s unique character is,” Cooper said. “I think it means different things to different people, and I think we need to do some work with the community on defining that and coming to a common understanding.”

The survey was launched in May, in conjunction with the kick off of the city’s Official Community Plan review. Cooper noted that 320 completed surveys were submitted between May 13 and June 17.

One portion of the survey examining satisfaction levels on a variety of elements indicated a low level of satisfaction with the “condition, style and character of the buildings in White Rock,” Cooper noted.

“That’s a very significant finding, and it shows we have some work to do,” she said, noting that the city’s seaside setting ranked high in respondent satisfaction. “So people love being here, but they’re not happy with the quality of the built environment.”

Development played a big part in the survey, as well, Cooper told council, noting that the areas that were most preferred as ‘potential growth areas’ were in the town centre and along North Bluff Road adjacent to the town centre and Peace Arch Hospital.

Traffic concerns and overburdened community services were among key concerns raised in relation to development.

Cooper alluded to concerns raised last month when an email was sent from a developer asking for White Rock and South Surrey residents to complete the survey, prompting questions about whether residents outside of White Rock were participating.

According to answers provided by respondents about where they resided, 71 per cent lived in White Rock, and most others were business owners or students within the city, Cooper said. She noted only two per cent of respondents were not from White Rock.

The city also received 148 pages of individual comments, which Cooper said were available online for the public to peruse.

“People can see there were no issues with adjustments by outside forces influencing negatively or positively people’s responses,” she said.

In addition to concerns about development and growth, Cooper said the city received many comments about the impact and possible relocation of the railway, as well as the need for better public transit in the city.

Staff will now move onto the next phase of the OCP review – which they’ve called ‘defining the big picture’ – and will include involvement of the recently formed OCP working group.

Cooper said this phase will also involve more community involvement, including workshops, engagement sessions and an additional survey.

Just Posted

Non-Semiahmoo First Nation members opt out of footing connection costs: chief

Long-term resident who can’t pay $50K fee, says he ‘hasn’t a clue’ where to go now

PHOTOS: Fabric-formed concrete strengthens new Surrey gallery show and house under construction

Designer Omer Arbel’s work in ‘Particles for the Built World’ exhibit and at South Surrey home

Drivers injured, children OK after school-bus crash in Surrey

Incident happened near 68th Avenue and King George Boulevard

Police release photos of suspect in attempted gas station robbery in Surrey

Surrey RCMP say suspect took off without taking any money after he bear sprayed employee

Health Canada issues second warning on Surrey herbal clinic products

People advised to ‘immediately’ stop using A1 Herbal Ayurvedic Clinic Ltd. products

Eggs in South Surrey bald-eagle preserve hatch

Douglas-area eagle nest livestreamed online

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Hwang’s first MLS goal lifts Whitecaps to 1-0 win over LAFC

Vancouver picks up first victory of season

Man identified in Vancouver’s fourth homicide of the year

30-year-old man was not known to police

RCMP locate missing Colony Farm psychiatric patient

Patient left last week on day pass from the hospital in Coquitlam

600 volunteers sign up to recall Maple Ridge MLAs over housing problems

Organizer urges province to reconsider position on Burnett modulars

Child-proof your windows ahead of warm weather: B.C. expert

Fifteen children were taken to BC Children’s Hospital for falls in 2018

B.C. trucker pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal Manitoba crash

Gurjant Singh was fined $3,000 and given a one-year driving prohibition.

Australian author reacts to Chilliwack school trustee’s ‘book banning’ statements

John Marsden responds to ‘horror and outrage’ from adults about mildly sexual thoughts in his novel

Most Read

l -->