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

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.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vancouver Police were at a White Rock home Oct. 20 to conduct a search warrant. (Aaron Hinks photo)
ERT response to White Rock home connected to homicide: police

Search underway in the 15800-block of Prospect Crescent

Ivan Scott. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Surrey mayor enters word war with speakers, councillor

McCallum calls brief recess after asking two speakers to leave chambers

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey’s COVID-19 case count exceeds 1,800

About 800 new cases in September

Montreal-based writer Michael Foy grew up in the Newton area of Surrey. (submitted photo)
Surrey-raised writer Foy really loves to set his short stories in the city

His latest is published in ‘Canadian Shorts II’ collection

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, arrested last December in California in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is next due in court on Nov. 12. (File photos)
Notorious South Surrey fugitive returns to court Nov. 12

Brandon Teixeira was arrested last December in California

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Maple Meadows Station’s new Bike Parkade. TransLink photo
TransLink to remove abandoned or discarded bicycles from bike parkades

Rules at TransLink bike parkades ask customers to use facilities for single day use only

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear kills llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Most Read