A public open house to explore what the community would like to see at the site currently occupied by White Rock Mufflers is set for Jan. 31.

A public open house to explore what the community would like to see at the site currently occupied by White Rock Mufflers is set for Jan. 31.

Public asked for input on Marine Drive property

Change is in the wind for a prominent Marine Drive property.

But just exactly what is in store for the White Rock Mufflers site, at 14807 Marine Dr., won’t be determined until after residents are heard, however.

“We don’t know, that’s the whole sort of purpose,” architect Tim Ankenman said of a public open house planned for 5-8 p.m. Jan. 31 regarding the site’s potential redevelopment.

“It’s sort of a reverse process. We’re not necessarily there to propose anything. We’re sort of there to ask a bunch of questions, show different massing options and try and get general direction from the public.”

The event is advertised as a workshop “to solicit feedback from you, the neighbouring community, to allow us to fully understand your goals and aspirations for this very important waterfront site prior to us making any formal proposal or application.”

It is “so we can learn what the community wants to see, as opposed to sort of coming up with a proposal and having everyone react to it,” Ankenman said. “We’re really there to listen. (The developer) hasn’t asked us to do a design, he’s asked us to consult with the public.”

Ankenman said he was hired by a private developer to conduct the process. That individual is currently out of town on business, he said.

White Rock Mufflers owner Richard Saunders said he will know more about the direction things are going after the open house. At the moment, nothing – including any sale of the property the business has occupied since 1973 – is definite.

The property is listed on mls.ca for $4.995 million.

“We haven’t sold anything yet,” Saunders said last week. “We just want to know what can be done. Maybe it’s going to be a muffler shop to 2058. I don’t know. Nobody knows.”

Inviting public input prior to taking any steps “sounds like the right way,” he said.

The open house is to take place at the 14807 Marine Dr. site. A marquis tent will be set up at the rear of the property.