I’m sure in its heyday starting back in the 1920s, the original restaurant on the pier was a great place to dine and dance. But by the late ’60s, the business and physical structure of Dolphin Café had started to decline.
As the new public health inspector for the area in 1969, it was brought to my attention that a lot of smelly liquid, etc. was falling from the restaurant onto the beach where children were playing and swimming.
Unfortunately, the sewage system for the café had deteriorated beyond repair and the sewage was no longer pumped up hill to the White Rock sewer system but was all ending up on the beach. The cost of a new pumping system to a municipal standard was expensive, and this resulted in the closure of the premises. Within a year or so, the vacant building was destroyed by fire.
So not only would a new restaurant need to install a modern sewage pumping system that would not freeze in winter and would include an emergency backup, but the restaurant would need a connection to the city water system again designed not to freeze and be sufficient in size for restaurant use and fire protection.
Another wrinkle that might be even more problematic is that delivery vehicles can no longer travel along the pier to a restaurant due to the present design and weight restriction, so all supplies in and garbage out would need to be moved in carts by hand.
These problems are not impossible to overcome but make the financial viability in this location unlikely.
Tim Roark, Surrey
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It’s a beautiful Thursday, and I’m sitting on a bench looking out over Semiahmoo Bay. I have lived here for 70 years and it never fails to make me feel comfortable.
I heard there was an idea to build a restaurant on the pier. What a wonderful idea! It would be so nice to have the building blocking my view to the east from my current vantage point at Memorial Park. There would probably be an abundance of signs and perhaps wire fencing.
There was a restaurant there years ago, and the beach area nearby was covered with refuse – mainly fish and chip containers, napkins and bottles. I suppose we wouldn’t see that if it was a high-end restaurant, but there would probably still be signage and fencing.
Or, perhaps, there would be delivery service people, with their noisy carts, bumping up and down the pier, or, perhaps, trucks on the pier making deliveries with engines idling and hydraulic lifts operating.
I’m also aware there are some who advocate for an extension of the marina. This would mean a larger number of boats needing gasoline and security docking. I can hear the rhythmic sound of people carting their belongings back and forth. I can smell gasoline wafting, leaving a lovely rainbow on the surface of the ocean.
When it comes to a restaurant on the pier and an extension of the marina, I’m all for it… NOT!
Roger Currie, White Rock
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The current marina space is not conducive to increased moorage. Expanding the breakwater would be expensive, i.e. taxing all to benefit a small clientele. A fuelling station would be a maximum hazard.
Semiahmoo Bay and our promenade are designated an Important Bird Area. Millions of waterfowl depend on our shore for food as they migrate to/from the far north.
We are part of a team doing monthly surveys of the waterfront for Bird Studies Canada. In the past decade, we have noted a decrease of brant, harlequin and various sandpipers. Western grebe are now on the Federal list of Special Concern.
Increased marina traffic, not to mention pollution from fuel and other spillage, would be devastating to waterfowl in this sensitive area. Fish, crab and shellfish would also be negatively impacted.
What have the B C Environmental Assessment Office, BC Conservation and Nature Conservancy of Canada said about potential impacts?
We fail to see how the public needs “more experiences and opportunities… to explore and invest in White Rock.” We are already being overdeveloped.
Jim & Susan Lindenberger, White Rock