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

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

MPs meet with Surrey council to discuss RCMP, LRT

Federal government to have quarterly meetings with Surrey

Hogg curious if a new recreation centre is needed in Grandview Heights

South Surrey-White Rock MP to host a Town Hall Meeting tonight

Surrey building that has gathered dust for 20 years is for sale again, with bids sought

Potential sale of the long-vacant 104 Avenue Centre is good news, Surrey Board of Trade CEO says

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

Regulatory confusion over ‘toxic’ stink near Abbotsford school

Officials sniffing out which regulators responsible for enforcing compliance at neighbouring property

Most Read