PHOTOS: Council to consider ‘prevention measures’ as crowds flock to White Rock beach

Crowds of people gathered in White Rock's Memorial Park Sunday as temperatures hit 19C. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock's Marine Drive was a busy spot Sunday afternoon as temperatures hit 19C. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock beach was busy Sunday afternoon as temperatures hit 19C. (Aaron Hinks photo)
People took advantage of the warm weather Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock RCMP patrol the pier on Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Low tide offered plenty of space for people to relax on White Rock's beach Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
People took advantage of the warm weather in White Rock Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Parking lots were nearly full in White Rock Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
People took advantage of the warm weather in White Rock Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
Low-tide offered space for people to relax on White Rock's beach Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
People take advantage of the warm weather on White Rock's beach Sunday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)

White Rock’s Marine Drive was bumper-to-bumper traffic and most parking lots were full Sunday afternoon as temperatures reached 19C.

Low-tide offered families the opportunity to stay physically distanced while the promenade and Memorial Park were relatively busy.

Restaurants, which are currently restricted to patio-only dining due to COVID-19 restrictions, also experienced an increase in business due to the warm weather. The dining restrictions, which were originally slated to end April 19, have been extended until mid-May.

City of White Rock council is scheduled to have a special meeting Monday to discuss COVID-19 prevention measures on the waterfront.

Council is to receive a staff report at the meeting which lists a number of COVID-19 prevention measures, specific to the waterfront.

The options to be considered include:

• Fence off the entire promenade

• Close parking lots

• Create parking spaces specifically for the pickup of takeout in designated lots adjacent to restaurants

• Limit waterfront parking lots to White Rock residents with parking decals

• Reserve a parking lot for restaurant patrons only

• Fence off specific problematic areas including areas in front of restaurants where lineups occur

• Close the pier

• Install additional signage

• Close Marine Drive

• Designate Marine Drive to one-way only traffic

• Close the West Beach Parkade

• Hire private security to help with enforcement effort

• Initiate communication with Semiahmoo First Nation to consider partial or full closure of SFN’s public parking lot

• Add additional RCMP officers on the weekends

• Adjust bylaw schedule to allow more flexibility with hours to assist with enforcement efforts.

• Hire additional bylaw officers

• Request the province consider giving City of White Rock vaccine priority as it is a popular destination

• Initiate communication with BNSF police regarding the need for uniformed officers to assist with enforcement efforts along railway

LAST YEAR: City of White Rock to close waterfront parking lots to help slow spread of COVID-19

“The popularity of White Rock as a destination community particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and desire to be outdoors has resulted in regular crowding on the waterfront,” Fire Chief Ed Wolfe wrote in the report to council. “The influx of people in our community during the pandemic creates additional risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission.”

Last year, the city temporarily closed its waterfront parking lots, parkade, pier and promenade as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19.

Following the publication of this article, several Marine Drive restaurant owners shared their position on the options to be considered by council.

Uli’s Restaurant owner Tyson Blume suggested the city come up with ways to encourage COVID-safe practices on the beach.

“Perhaps more enforcement, perhaps one way paths, I’m not sure but I just hate the idea of closing down,” Blume wrote on Facebook. “There’s been enough of that. There must be some high level strategies to help us stay open but be safe. Please stay open and offer locals who are pent up in small living spaces a place to recreate. Try to stay consistent as the city and as a brand.”

Jaclynn Villanueva, who owns Primo’s Mexican Grill, wrote that she is “completely opposed” to shutting down.

“How about police the places that are NOT following rules and leave the rest of us alone to try and make a living so we don’t have to close down!” Villanueva wrote on Facebook. “Instead of fencing everything up use the money to hire more people to enforce the rules so we can enjoy what we pay very high rents and taxes for!”

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

Just Posted

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. says Van (William) Dinh, a registered massage therapist in Surrey and Langley, has had his licence suspended while an inquiry committee panel investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey massage therapist suspended amid sexual misconduct investigation

CMTBC received complaint Van (William) Dinh allegedly exposed ‘sensitive areas of the patient’s body’

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey woman a face of World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign in London, New York

‘It’s so important we find better treatments,’ Catherine Eiswerth says

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

Surrey-White Rock MLA Trevor Halford and Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux. (Contributed photos)
BC NDP ‘chose to create a system of chaos’ by holding back COVID-19 data: Cadieux

South Surrey MLAs criticize provincial government after BCCDC documents leak

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Former University of British Columbia student Stephanie Hale, 22. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff Bassett
Human Rights Tribunal to hear complaint against UBC Okanagan for ‘mishandling’ sexual assault report

Stephanie Hale did not return to campus after the student she alleges attacked her was cleared of wrongdoing

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Jennifer Coffman, owner of Truffle Pigs in Field, B.C., poses beside her business sign on Thursday, May 6, 2021, in this handout photo. Her restaurant and lodge have been hit hard by a closure of a section of the Trans-Canada Highway and by the British Columbia government discouraging Alberta residents from visiting during the pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Jennifer Coffman, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
‘Why we survive’: B.C. boundary towns struggle without Albertans during pandemic

Jennifer Coffman’s restaurant is located in the tiny community of Field, which relies on tourism

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Most Read