An aerial photo of the lot the City of White Rock expropriated in April for a Town Square. (File photo)

White Rock to consider uptown parking lot

Motion to prepare business case approved by council

White Rock is to explore the feasibility of a new underground parking structure in the uptown area beneath a planned public park beside Coast Capital Playhouse.

At Monday night’s meeting, council members unanimously endorsed a motion from Coun. David Chesney requesting that council direct city staff to prepare a business case for an underground parking structure to be located at 1510 Johnston Rd., (at the intersection of Johnston Road and Russell Avenue) the site of the future arts and pedestrian-friendly ‘Town Square’ park.

Coun. Grant Meyer and Mayor Wayne Baldwin were not present at the meeting.

Chief administrative officer Dan Bottrill – who confirmed that staff had already been looking at the possibility of constructing an underground parking facility as an option during redevelopment of the former gas station site as a park – said he believed a report could be compiled in time for the Sept. 17 deadline specified in Chesney’s motion.

Bottrill said that, in the interim, the city will open the site – which has been leased as a pay-parking lot to raise funds for local Rotary Club projects for more than a decade – as a free public parking lot as of Aug. 1, as soon as the current lease expires.

The proposed parking facility would be in addition to the city’s four-storey parkade currently under construction on the waterfront, and existing parking provided uptown at the White Rock Community Centre.

Chesney said he was asking for a costing-out of the concept of putting parking below the planned green space for at least one to two levels underground.

“As our town centre grows, we will be constantly challenged with parking for people visiting our community,” Chesney said, noting that remediation work would have to be done to remove contaminants from the site . “We would be well advised to move forward at this point to at least look at what the cost would be.”

“Every time we do something we’re always taking a look at the options,” Bottrill told council following questions from Coun. Lynne Sinclair – who said she supported the idea – on how prepared staff would be to put forward a business case.

“We don’t have all the information in terms of the remediation,” Bottrill said. “However, having said that, if we were going to excavate the site we would be removing contaminated soil in any event, so that would probably assist with any kind of remediation.”

Couns. Helen Fathers and Bill Lawrence also spoke in support of the motion; Lawrence wondering if the possibility of even more underground levels could be explored.

“Maybe three or four (levels) would be something to take a look at,” he said. “Taking into consideration not only park attendees, but also all the other businesses, I think there is definitely a need for businesses in the town centre to get a little bit more in the way of parking.”

Chesney said he viewed one or two levels as “a starting point for staff, but I don’t think it needs to be restricted to that.”

The property was acquired by the city through expropriation in April of this year. The square, once complete, is to include a level programmable area with tables, chairs, shade trees and other “pedestrian-friendly features,” according to the city.

The lot is also to include public art and a venue for special events.

The property, previously owned by Imperial Oil, which was conducting tests on the site as recently as this January, has been vacant for more than 20 years.

The purchase price is yet to be determined, but White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin said earlier this year that “no money from taxes will be put in there.”

– with files from Aaron Hinks

Just Posted

Another Surrey mayoral candidate wants to ‘pause’ LRT plans

Hayne and his Integrity Now team join other candidates who aren’t sold on the city’s light rail plans

3 ‘Dream Home’ lottery prizes located in South Surrey

Proceeds support BC Children’s Hospital

No WorkSafeBC orders issued after ruptured water main damaged White Rock theatre

Investigation confirms that the water line ruptured as a result of pressure testing

Cloverdale CHAMP celebrates War Amps on its 100th anniversary

Child Amputee Program provides financial and peer support

Teen stabbed at Surrey’s Unwin Park

17 year old was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries

Ottawa area residents take stock of tornado rubble as Ford tours the ruins

A tornado on Friday afternoon tore roofs off of homes, overturned cars and felled power lines in the Ottawa community of Dunrobin and in Gatineau, Que.

School, church and old mining site make Heritage BC’s 1st ever ‘watch list”

The list includes sites in need of protection to maintain B.C.’s culture and history

5 to start your day

Maple Ridge students send books to fire-destroyed school, teen stabbed in Surrey park and more

Yowza! Twerk, emoji and facepalm are added to Scrabble dictionary, OK?

Merriam-Webster has announced 300 new words have been added to the spelling game

LGBTQ activists, allies in Victoria counter anti-SOGI protest with rally of their own

Lower Mainland activists plan to protest SOGI on legislature lawn, Sept. 29

Three people attacked on Queensborough Bridge

Man in custody following incident occurred Sunday

Cities make power play for new fiscal order with eye to 2019 federal election

Trudeau ordered Champagne to talk with provinces and territories about ways to “address the timeliness of the flow of funds” to projects.

Trudeau arrives at United Nations, hoping to re-establish Canada on world stage

Trudeau is beginning his day at the opening of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit, where he’s scheduled to deliver brief remarks later this afternoon.

B.C.’s FATSO peanut butter to appear on Dragon’s Den

The Victoria company will be featured on the Sept. 27 episode of the popular show highlighting Canadian businesses

Most Read

l -->