An open letter to White Rock city council.
I had the pleasure of a chance encounter an engaging conversation with a gentleman the other night who was originally from Europe and is now a resident of Canada, living and loving it in White Rock.
We were discussing the planned parking garage for Victoria and Vidal (House purchase boosts parking plans, Feb. 3, 2016)while enjoying a cold beer in one of the local Marine Drive establishments.
He was somewhat mystified and could not grasp the concept of a parking garage in an oceanside community. In all his many years of residency and subsequent return visits to Europe, he said that he had never seen such a thing in any of the very many oceanside communities that he had visited.
He told me that in Europe, they restrict the access of cars to these communities, as the value of the property is far too valuable to waste on such a frivolity. He went on to say that it is counter to everything that a beachside community represents – clean air, uncluttered spaces, peace and quiet, free mobility of pedestrians and, of course, the residents who live in the community. They make use of public transportation to move people to and from the beach side communities, and cars are kept at a distance. What a novel concept!
Why is it that we cannot do something of a similar sort?
White rock’s official community plan talks about “green” and “the environment,” and yet here is city council planning to build a six-storey parking garage just steps away from the ocean. The traffic, congestion, and confusion that will come with such a monstrosity will defy any mention of “green” and “the environment” in the sacred OCP. It is a contradiction!
The OCP is missing critical detail and is riddled with flaws, and you heard that loudly and clearly on Monday evening at the council meeting (Residents cry foul on parkade, July 12).
The planned parking garage is just one of many such mistakes being considered. Nowhere in the OCP is there any significant mention of this parking garage, and it only found its way into the document a short while ago. It was never the subject of the community discussions. Heck, the council couldn’t even be bothered to include a photograph in the OCP of this $11-million monstrosity that they plan to build. Why is that? Are they not proud of what it is they are forcing upon the citizens?
Well, I know the answer as I have subsequently seen a photo of this proposed garage. I only need one word to describe what I saw in the photo – grotesque.
So, let’s not only plug in a six-storey parking garage right on the beachfront, but let’s have it be as ugly as possible. Let’s add serious insult to injury to the residents of White Rock.
Roger Bockstael, White Rock