A restaurant beside the foot of the pier, the business case for expansion of the existing marina at the pier, and a pedestrian overpass over the BNSF line at Coldicutt Ravine – these are all items under the microscope in an ongoing project, the East Beach Waterfront Projects Feasibility Study, commissioned by the City of White Rock.
Interim updates on the study, initiated in March, were presented to council at last week’s city council meeting in both a presentation by the contractors, Westmar Advisors Inc. and Hatfield Consultants, and also a summary by engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon.
Under assessment is the environmental impact for a 300-seat restaurant – which preliminary recommendations suggest should be sited in the same area as a former Legion building and restaurant (which burned in 1932) and the Dolphins Club Restaurant, established in 1970.
Impacts on such environmental features as the shoreline’s habitat for molluscs, crustaceans and young marine flatfish, including extensive eelgrass beds, will also be assessed for the construction of the pedestrian overpass.
The project also includes examination of erosion protection for the East Beach area and the challenges of increasing current public amenity space.
Also being examined is an upgrade to the Finlay Street storm discharge outfall both to increase its capacity – replacing the Habgood outfall on Semiahmoo First Nation land – while improving natural habitat and reducing the obstruction to pedestrians walking the beach.
“A multi-faceted waterfront area will provide more experiences and opportunities for the public to explore and invest in White Rock,” Gordon noted in his report.