EDITORIAL: Shape of civic things to come

It’s up to the public to make the most of opportunities for input into plans for White Rock's Memorial Park

The plan for a revamped Memorial Park adjacent to White Rock’s promenade is a big opportunity for the public to contribute to “getting it right” for generations of residents and visitors to come.

It’s no news that people in the city – residents and business owners alike – are touchy about potential change to their beloved waterfront.

When the city first raised the idea of reworking the area – which includes the grassy slope between the White Rock Museum and Archives up to the washrooms at the head of the pier – nearly a decade ago, it heard loudly and clearly that residents were not ready for it, even with grant money for the project in the offing.

People seemed happy to keep the area the way it was – an unstructured space mainly used by sunbathers during summer months.

But times, and cities, change. And civic leaders feel the time now is right.

An increasingly urbanized White Rock has greater need for more organized space to manage celebratory events showcasing the city, including Canada Day By The Bay, the White Rock Sea Festival and performances such as the TD Concerts at the Pier series.

It could be argued that a proposed open-air amphitheatre and landscaping for the park would make more sense than any number of obstructive temporary stages and – if designed with sensitivity to the surroundings – has the potential to enhance and enrich the waterfront experience even when not hosting events

Throw in the fact that the city next year celebrates its 60th anniversary, and Canada its 150th birthday, and completing Memorial Park by summer becomes an attractive goal for many, though White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin has assured that while that would be nice, it’s not necessary. “If it has to take a little bit longer, then that’s the way it will have to be.”

Baldwin said that while a preliminary staff consultation Aug. 18 with “stakeholders” – including the White Rock BIA, Sea Festival organizers, Semiahmoo Arts and the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce – has led to suspicion by critics that the public’s say is being excluded, the operational meeting was a logical part of the process.

The public will have “plenty of opportunity” to provide suggestions and input  for drafting the plan in two sessions at White Rock Community Centre (Sept. 14, and Sept. 27, 6-8 p.m.)

It’s up to the public to make the most of it.

 

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

Just Posted

Surrey firefighters battle a house fire near the 70A Avenue and 126A Street intersection early Sunday morning. According to a witness, it appears that the occupants were able to get out without injury. (Shane MacKichan photos)
PHOTOS: Fire causes extensive damage to Surrey home

Occupants able to escape without injury: witness

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

John Horgan has been re-elected the MLA for Langford-Juan de Fuca. (File-Black Press)
Horgan trounces challengers to be re-elected in his Vancouver Island riding

MLA has represented constituency of Langford-Juan de Fuca and its predecessors since 2005

Sven Spichiger, Washington State Department of Agriculture managing entomologist, displays a canister of Asian giant hornets vacuumed from a nest in a tree behind him Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. Scientists in Washington state discovered the first nest earlier in the week of so-called murder hornets in the United States and worked to wipe it out Saturday morning to protect native honeybees. Workers with the state Agriculture Department spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Crews vacuum ‘murder hornets’ out of Washington nest, first-ever in U.S.

The nest found in the city of Blaine near the Canadian border is about the size of a basketball

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Glenn Rose

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

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

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Most Read