White Rock to widen East Beach sidewalk, amend patio rules

City acts to address pedestrian safety issues raised by business encroachment

Safety concerns prompted by encroachment of  businesses on the East Beach sidewalk have led the city to authorize widening the pavement – and adopt new

Safety concerns prompted by encroachment of businesses on the East Beach sidewalk have led the city to authorize widening the pavement – and adopt new

White Rock council has decided to permanently widen a section of sidewalk in East Beach.

The widened sidewalk will be on the north side of Marine Drive between Ash and Balsam streets where, a city staff report says, unauthorized expansion of business patios has impeded pedestrian traffic and created safety issues.

The measure, approved at council’s June 13 meeting, will cost $55,000 for reconstruction of the sidewalk – and will also impact city coffers, to the tune of some $35,000 due to the closure of 10 revenue-providing parking spaces.

However, there are compensatory benefits, according to the report from former acting director of planning Eric Shaw.

The widened area, in addition to making the sidewalk safer, would allow for larger patios which could prompt higher fees for patio licences, Shaw pointed out.

“We’re going to lose parking revenue, but we’re going to gain revenue from patio rental,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin noted.

In addition, preparation of an amendment to the licensing bylaw will include clearer regulations for sidewalk patios citywide, after more than 20 years of inconsistency.

Since the original licensing bylaw was adopted in 1993, enforcement has been spotty at best, which has led businesses to make further encroachments – including umbrellas, chairs and displays of goods for sale – into pedestrian walking areas.

“We’ve never enforced the rules,” Coun. David Chesney said.

“They (businesses) have gotten away with murder for years.”

During discussion of the report, Couns. Lynne Sinclair and Megan Knight expressed interest in an alternate option mentioned – a temporary wooden ‘parklet’ that could be placed over the existing sidewalk, extending out into the current parking area.

While such a structure would provide a certain eye appeal, council members heard, the construction price tag would be $40,000 for an impermanent seasonal addition.

Chesney wondered whether trucking in some planters and furniture would not be a cheaper temporary alternative, but city manager Dan Bottrill suggested that this might simply add to the dangers of the current situation.

“One of the most important pieces here is safety,” he said.

Coun. Helen Fathers said the measure would go “a long way to beautifying long-forgotten East Beach,” but wondered whether patio licences would be compulsory for business owners who decided not to participate.

“No one will be forced to have a patio,” Shaw said.


Just Posted

A sign warning of a pack of coyotes hangs near 2660 Croydon Dr. (Aaron Hinks photo)
South Surrey woman sounds alarm after encounter with pack of coyotes

Susan Martin said three full-grown coyotes were lurking around her home

Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 13

Steven Vail was last seen at 8 a.m. after arriving at Frank Hurt Secondary but did not show up for his 8:30 a.m. class.

A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. (File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
COVID-19 cases at Surrey school district drop ‘dramatically’

There were 19 notifications sent out in the first 9 days of June, compared to in all of 245 in May

teaser photo only.
Surrey ‘POP!’ series promises ‘Performances Outdoors in Parks’ this summer

Ticketed concerts, theatre shows and other events start July 9

1,001 Steps – along with Christopherson Steps – was closed by the City of Surrey last spring in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19. They are set to reopen this week, as a note on a city sign attests (inset). (File photo/Contributed photo)
South Surrey’s beach-access stairs set to reopen

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps have been closed since April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A 34-year-old man was arrested Monday after Transit Police found him riding a SkyTrain with a shotgun in the front of his sweatpants. (Transit Police)
SkyTrain passenger arrested, charged for concealing shotgun in his sweatpants

Codty-James Gray, 34, was found with ammunition, brass knuckles and knives

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Most Read