File illustration A rendering of the final gateway arch design, rejected by White Rock council on Monday.

City abandons plan for $1m archway

White Rock council rejects revised design, leaving concept to next council

White Rock council has rejected the latest and final proposed design for an uptown arch over Johnston Road – effectively handing off any consideration of such a structure to a new council.

At Monday evening’s council meeting – which was not attended by gateway feature selection committee chair Coun. Grant Meyer or Mayor Wayne Baldwin – the five council members present unanimously voted down the committee’s recommended option for the decorative arch, for which the city had earmarked $1 million.

The vote came after committee member Coun. Lynne Sinclair told council she could not endorse the design – which in its revised version featured an archway supported by stone pillars topped by lighthouses – because the process had been rushed and had not allowed sufficient reflection on a design that would be “authentic” to White Rock.

“This has been a hard process for me,” she said, noting she had tried, as a committee member, to make the process work.

“When this came forward to remove it from the public art realm and put it in another realm, I didn’t fully understand the significance that the change meant for the process,” she said.

Sinclair said she had expected that a design for a gateway feature would be tendered first, rather than the feature being tendered as an infrastructure project.

“It really profoundly changed it from one that would be authentic, original and unique to White Rock, to one that really went to companies that build things, as opposed to design things.”

Echoing statements that public art advisory committee chair and fellow gateway committee member Jim Adams made in May, Sinclair said the timeline for the project was a major concern.

“I didn’t see why we were rushing because I think whatever is put in there is going to matter to White Rockers for a long time,” Sinclair said, noting that while the public had been consulted on earlier options, input had not been sought on the revised version.

“It has to be something that we like, something we feel a sense of belonging to, as our major gateway to the town, and I think the timeline has prohibited us from allowing that. I’m not against a gateway project – I just think we need to go about it (differently). Maybe the next council will be the ones to do that.”

Coun. Helen Fathers spoke in support of Sinclair’s comments criticizing the design.

“The archway is a little bit boring, a little bit uninspiring,” she said, noting she felt the process had been fair and the members of the committee had “meant well.”

“When you look at the (renderings) it doesn’t look like the White Rock that we’ll have in two years time or in five years time. I agree that it should be passed on to the next council – it’s a lot of money to spend, and I don’t know what the rush is.”

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Tour de White Rock kicks off

Races take place this evening and tomorrow morning

It’s about to get hot: Special weather statement issued for Lower Mainland

Temperatures expected to rise and stick around till next week, Environment Canada forecasts

Delta’s OWL Society to pair raptors and yoga

The two-class fundraiser allows participants to do yoga while being watched by birds of prey

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

REPLAY: B.C.’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

SilverStar officially opens Gondola

The brand-new gondola is now offering scenic rides for visitors on SilverStar Mountain Resort.

VIDEO: Man climbs crane in Abbotsford

Police, fire called to deal with climber last night

VIDEO: Langley City legendary water fight was a soaking good time

And perfectly timed for a hot weather warning

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Most Read