White Rock city staff are to meet with stakeholders Thursday regarding upgrades to Memorial Park.

White Rock city staff are to meet with stakeholders Thursday regarding upgrades to Memorial Park.

Open house for White Rock waterfront park set for September

City of White Rock staff to meet Thursday with stakeholders for input on Memorial Park upgrades

City of White Rock staff will meet with stakeholders this week to glean input on how to best revise Memorial Park.

Called “to receive comment regarding the Memorial Park project,” the Aug. 18 session is an “operational” meeting, the city’s communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi said Monday.

It is not open to the public, elected officials or members of the committee that was established to review design components of the park, she confirmed.

“An open house is being planned for September,” Farrokhi told Peace Arch News.

Upgrades to the waterfront park – located in the 15000-block of Marine Drive, just east of the White Rock Museum & Archives – were budgeted in the city’s 2016-2020 financial plan, following a decision by council in June of last year to resurrect plans for the space that were first presented in 2008, but became a source of contention amount council, residents and waterfront business owners.

Initially scheduled for funding in 2017/’18, council members meeting as the finance and audit committee in February voted unanimously in favour of a motion by Coun. Grant Meyer to push the timeline ahead for the park, along with pier-washroom and tourism-kiosk upgrades.

Last month, council – acting on recommendations from the Memorial Park Committee – voted to direct staff to install a sidewalk on the north side of the park, widen the promenade to 12 feet on the south side of the park and eliminate the angle parking spaces between Martin Street and the museum on the south side of Marine Drive.

In February, Coun. Helen Fathers noted the importance of including the public in the upgrades conversation before the work is approved.

While one resident who contacted PAN was concerned that Thursday’s meeting was invite-only, Meyer said Monday the public “will definitely have their time.”

Tuesday afternoon – after PAN‘s print deadline for its Aug. 17 paper – Farrokhi confirmed that two dates had been booked for public consultation: Sept. 14 and Sept. 27. Both sessions are scheduled from 6-8 p.m. at the White Rock Community Centre (15154 Russell Ave.), and those interested may drop-in to pursue draft concepts for the park, share their ideas and provide feedback. A cohesive concept plan is to be presented at the Sept. 27 session, with an opportunity for further feedback, she said.

Farrokhi named the Business Improvement Association, White Rock Sea Festival organizers, South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce, Semiahmoo Arts Council and TD Concert by the Pier organizers as among stakeholders invited to the Aug. 18 meeting.