Construction fencing, which is to be reconfigured in January to close the parking lot on the east side of White Rock Museum and Archives, has been in place at White Rock’s Memorial Park since September. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Memorial Park assessment to start in new year

White Rock and Semiahmoo First Nation to consult on archeological issues

The City of White Rock is to move current fencing at Memorial Park to its original place on the waterfront – shutting off the parking lot on the east side of White Rock Museum and Archives – in the second week of January while an archeological-impact assessment process for the planned park upgrade takes place.

The process itself – to be conducted by the city in continuing consultation with Semiahmoo First Nation – will begin on Jan. 2, according to city communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi.

The fencing had been moved to accommodate residents and merchants during the holiday season, Farrokhi said.

In response to questions from Peace Arch News Dec. 14, Farrokhi confirmed last week that the city had applied for a provincial archeological permit for the project on Oct. 23 – more than a month after the project was shut down by a cease-and-desist order from Semiahmoo First Nations Chief Harley Chappell and councillors Joanne and Roxanne Charles at what was supposed to be an official ground-breaking ceremony for the $6-million project.

Dec. 13, the city received a provincial archeological permit for the project – which is to include reconfiguring the park property between the museum and the pier, and upgrading the washrooms – Farrokhi added.

SFN council members said at the time they presented the cease-and-desist order that the First Nation had not been consulted during the project-design process, and that archeological protection protocols had not been observed on land that is traditional SFN territory and which may contain artifacts and burial sites of historical importance.

Farrokhi said Dec. 19 that work that week would be on “site preparation.”

“Crews will be out doing non-demo work such as setting up utility locals and lights,” she said.

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