A pedestrian overpass, connecting Johnston Road and the city’s beach, was one of the potential projects shared in the draft report. (City of White Rock graphic)

Residents prioritize projects for White Rock’s waterfront

Pier upgrades, pedestrian overpass, and a ‘pedestrian first’ Marine Drive were among the options

Residents who attended an open house in White Rock Sunday afternoon decided how – if they were mayor – they would allocate money targeted for the city’s waterfront.

Each resident who attended the open house, held from 2-4 p.m. at the White Rock Community Centre, was handed $100 in play money (in $10 denominations) and were given five “action pillars and potential projects” to spend it on.

The categories included environment and culture; expand activities for all ages; create all-season programming and activities; strengthen waterfront business and character; and improve accessibility.

City of White Rock planner Carl Isaak was at the event to assist residents, answer questions and hand out the money.

Isaak told Peace Arch News that the open house assists the city in identifying priorities for the residents.

Projects or programs of note included reconsidering Marine Drive as a “pedestrian first zone”; moving towards a rail-free waterfront; “fit-bit” workout stations; a business “Façade Facelift” program; a business “Vacancy No More” campaign; developing “family pods”; incorporating First Nation story-telling and arts and developing internet hotspots on the promenade.

A sketch provided by the city showed potential upgrades to the pier, including two viewing platforms in the mid-section and a viewing panorama platform at the end.

The Waterfront Enhancement Strategy framework and action plan draft was distributed to council last month.

The 69-page document, which can be found on the city’s website, notes that the purpose of the framework is intended to guide decisions by the city and the community for the next 10 to 20 years.

“It provides a practical framework to move forward and solidify the Waterfront’s role as one of the hearts and principal destinations in the City of White Rock and region,” the document notes.

The next open house is to be held Nov. 26 from 6-8 p.m. at the White Rock Community Centre.

The Waterfront Enhancement document can be found here.

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A sketch of potential upgrades to White Rock’s pier was one of the items shared at the open house. (City of White Rock graphic)

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