Question & Answer Period
NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, Question and Answer Period has been temporarily suspended until further notice. You may forward questions and comments to Mayor and Council by emailing ClerksOffice@whiterockcity.ca with Question and Answer Period noted in the subject line. Your questions and comments will be noted along with answers and placed on the City’s website.
Question and Answer (QA) period is held at Regular Council meetings and is an opportunity for the public to ask Council questions and receive answers (if available). QA is noted in the record and once the minutes are adopted, the questions and answers will be available on the table below.
There may be instances where the City is unable to provide an answer at the meeting; however, the question will be forwarded to staff and the response will be updated in this table when available.
If there are any questions, please contact Corporate Administration at 604 541 2212 or firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Questions and Answers (Regular Council)
|2020-03-23||Sees an issue with construction workers coming from the Altus project and parking off Goggs Avenue / Maple Street.||Staff noted construction parking has been an issue in the community and are continuing to work on this. It was clarified that in regard to parking on City Streets some are restricted and others are not.
Someone doing construction / working on a home renovation – there is no bylaw against street parking for this.
Construction parking plans are put in place for major development. It has been found in some circumstances that the parking at times has not be sufficient due to fluctuations in need of there being more workers on site during a busy time, staff are working with the developers to address this and are checking in to ensure they are adhering to the construction parking plan(s).
It was request by Council when the report comes forward that it would include information around the number of tickets issued to construction workers on the 1300-block of Foster Street.
|2020-03-23||Noted that in November he attended Council noting the lack of festive lights on Johnston Road. He was representing some of the businesses in the area. At this time he thanked Council and staff for the additional lights now in the area.||N/A|
|2020-02-24||Congratulated the City of White Rock Team for the Coldest Night of the Year Walk. Both the Democracy Direct and White Rock Teams achieved success with participation and donations.||N/A|
|2020-02-24||Inquired of Council were looking at presenting a position. in regard to the increasing insurance rate(s) for multifamily units?||It was noted that a single municipality cannot make a change on their own, but they can work together. There is a motion that the Governance and Legislation Committee will be considering following this meeting that asked BC local governments to call on the province to create a risk-sharing model that returns strata premiums and owner deductible to 2019 levels with adjustment for inflation only.|
|2020-02-24||Commented in regard to secondary suites in White Rock. Understood that unauthorized suites only pay one (1) of the two (2) applicable fees for a legalized suite. Believe there are a number of suites not paying anything. Stated that many other municipalities charge at least the same and sometimes higher to help gain compliance (with a disclaimer).||
It was noted that staff will be bringing forward a corporate report on this matter.
Staff noted it appeared there was a misunderstanding on this, all suites staff are aware of (authorized and unauthorized) already pay both fees.
|2020-02-10||On behalf of Democracy Direct Society challenged the City Team for the Coldest Night of the Year event, competing in regard to fundraising.||N/A|
|2020-01-27||Inquired why the questions and answers he asked previously have not been placed on the City's website as of this date.||Following the minutes from the previous meeting being published, the Question and Answer section of the website is updated. Questions asked at the January 13, 2020 meeting would be placed on the website the week of January 27, 2020.|
|2020-01-27||Stated that in regard to the large fire at five (5) corner in 2015, they have an understanding that there was not enough water to fight the fire. With Council's inquiry in regard to the use of possible of Community Amenity Contributions (CAC's), has this issue been resolved prior to spending funds elsewhere?||Although there were a number of factors at the time of the fire, steps have been taken to upgrade the system. It was noted that CAC's cannot be utilized for operation of the Water System.|
|2020-01-13||Inquired as to how many closed Council meetings were held in 2019 and encouraged Council to carefully consider the reasoning for going into a closed meeting prior to doing so. Stating further that there are items that may fall under the various sections of the legislation but not always is it the circumstance that it must be discussed in a closed meeting.||There were sixteen (16) closed meetings held in 2019, six (6) of which were Intergovernmental Council to Council meetings with Semiahmoo First Nation.
All closed topics are scheduled in accordance with section 90(1) and (2) of the Community Charter.
|2020-01-13||Notified that he had signed up for the City’s phone notification system and it appears that he is now being notified by several different phone numbers.||Staff will look into the matter and if required, connect with the website service provider.|
|2019-12-16||Informed that following the December 2, 2019 Council meeting he let the Director of Engineering and Municipal Operations know that a light standard was not functioning and is pleased to congratulate Mr. Gordon and his staff as it was repaired within the week.||N/A|
|2019-12-16||Commented on the topic of the Community Charter section 131 that came forward in July to reconsider a motion in regard to the Plaza at Lions Lookout Park, He stated that he found the way this matter has been handled to be disrespectful and that it has been a waste of time.||N/A|
|2019-12-02||Requested the City adopt a policy that posts the voting records of Council to the City’s website following the Council meetings.||Staff advised that there are programs that can provide this service at a cost. Council referred the topic of Council Meeting Voting Records to the next Governance and Legislation Committee meeting for discussion.|
|2019-12-02||Expressed concerns regarding residential parking requirements and advised that they received a parking ticket for having their car parked for longer than 72 hours in front of their home. Reported that they do not have parking on their property, and so the only option is street parking. The issue with the 72 hour restriction is that if they are away someone would need to move the vehicle in order to avoid fines. Their concerns are the lack of options of where they can place their car when they are away on vacation, etc.||
Staff and Council noted that the 72 hour parking time limit is noted in the City’s Street and Traffic bylaw. The City does not have an inventory of how many residences have similar parking issues (no available parking on site). The City could post a sign that restricts a parking space.
|2019-11-04||Requested completion of the rainbow crosswalk at Five Corners, at the pride flag raising, to work together with pride society to complete the project. Would like an update on the project. Upcoming Pride events were noted.||
Staff noted that currently there is no budget for additional rainbow crosswalk(s) but this may be addressed by Council during the upcoming financial process.
Approximate costs given for further two (2) legs of a rainbow crosswalk are $20,000 to $25,000 for each of the two (2) new portions (new asphalt holds the project better and that is included in the noted cost). The paint should last eight (8) to ten (10) years. For the more expensive paint option (more vivid color) the cost for each leg is approximately $40,000 to $45,000.
|2019-10-21||Expressed concerns for Fraser Health’s decision to cut the cardiac rehabilitation programs at the Centre for Active Living. Requested Council’s support in requesting the programs not be cut.||The CAO advised that there could be several programs impacted by Fraser Health cuts, and that staff would report back with information at a future meeting.
Council passed the following motion:
THAT Council directs that the City write to Fraser health, copy MLA and MP expressing opposition to cancellation of the program.
|2019-10-21||Spoke to the corporate report regarding “Wheelchair Van Side-Ramp Accessible Parking Improvements”. Spoke to the benefits of curb cuts, and requested Council consider allocating funds to allow this in White Rock.||N/A|
|2019-10-21||Expressed concerns regarding the disposal of dog waste, and requested the City amend their signage to suggest owners flush the dog waste down their own toilets.||Staff clarified that the preferred method of dog waste disposal is ensuring the feces are flushed in the toilet, and the bags are placed in the receptacle. Flushed bags can block the pipes.|
|2019-10-07||Stated that when trial was announced to permit dogs on the promenade people started walking them right away (prior to the project beginning). The city recorded 299 cases of warnings to dog owners. The Peace Arch News reported for people will watch out or the dog trial will not happen. This gave the impression that the trial project could cancelled if the number of infractions were exceeded.||
Council stated this is a trial project, and sometimes people are slow to change habits, they will be given there opportunity. It is important to hear from all sides of any concerns and that way Council and staff will have the chance to address them.
Staff will continue to do their jobs; waste removal is to be conducted from the promenade much the same as it is from City parks for those that don’t pick up after their pets.
|2019-10-07||There are 45 residents who receive the Block Watch Newsletter. Previously copies of the newsletter were provided for distribution purposes. Noted copies will no longer be supplied and that distribution was to be conducted via e-mail. Concern was noted that not everyone has e-mail and it was asked if help could be given in regards to this so copies can be continued to be made and the newsletter can be delivered as it had previously.||Staff noted they would look into this and the options available.|
|2019-10-07||Participates in the City’s Artist Walk at the waterfront, wanted clarification if the program would be continuing. Concern noted that with dogs being permitted on the promenade that this is not working well with the Artist Walk program.||
Council stated the Artist Walk is a Council endorsed program and there has been no change in considering the program. All licences under the provisions they were issued are still in place.
If there are concerns with dogs during the trial period all are encouraged to submit them to the City. The City appreciates the feedback, so it can be addressed.
|2019-09-30||Stated that racoons broke into his home, and made a mess. He called the city and the RCMP and no one would help. These raccoons are aggressive and have been an ongoing issue. When these animals are aggressive I want the city to trap them and take them away. What is the city going to do about this problem?||Council noted concern for the matter but stated wild animals are not the responsibility of the City, there are other places to contact such as the province where they are equipped and have the expertise to help. Information on who to contact is available on the city website.|
|2019-09-30||Concern noted regarding safety on Finlay Street during the construction of the Altus development, where there is a significant drop off the sidewalk area. There is a thin mesh fence but that is all to stop someone from driving / falling. Noted that there are cement barriers but the rest of the street up to the power station has nothing. How can the developer get away with this?||Council stated that staff would review the site October 1st and look for a way to resolve this.|
|2019-09-30||Question regarding the dogs on the promenade trial to start on October 1: Do you agree that having parameters set to determine success or failure of this trial is important - parameters with numbers?||
The City formed a task force and it is their responsibility to bring recommendations on what the pilot project would look like and how to judge success or otherwise. A number of recommendations have been brought forward and decided by Council.
Council noted that metrics will be done and the task force will recommend what is important, the work is continuing to ensure by the end of the trial period there is a set of metrics and rec to Council going forward.
|2019-09-30||Commented that at the September 9th regular meeting a presentation was provided by Westmar Advisors, summarizing the options for the southwest floating facility as well as a reconstruction update for the White Rock Pier.
Concern was noted the minutes did not include comments made by Councillor Chesney following a statement the presenters made that prior to 2011 boats were not moored on the floating facility year round.
|Staff advised that meeting minutes are not verbatim they are action based, significant points are noted but not all|
|2019-09-09||Expressed concerns regarding the balance of members / opinions on the Dogs on the Promenade Task Force, and questioned why members have resigned from the group.||Council advised that those positions will be filled with new members.|
|2019-09-09||Stated there is a need for basketball courts in the community, adding that having this amenity provides opportunity for people to teach and play the sport.||Staff advised that there aren't any basketball courts in the community at this time; however, there is a corporate report coming to Council in the near future regarding the subject of pickleball / tennis courts, and will consider including details regarding basketball as well.|
|2019-09-09||Spoke to the trial period for Dogs on the Promenade, and requested clarification that there would be no financial impact to taxpayers for the trial period.||Staff advised that there are operational costs for items such as signage and materials. It was clarified that Task Forces do not have budgets, and that funding comes from Departmental budgets.|
|2019-09-09||Expressed concerns regarding the corporate report regarding Totem Plaza, and suggested that there is further information / media to be considered with respect to the matter. Noted a ceremony was held in 2009, and questioned why it cannot be officially named as noted at this event.||N/A|
|2019-09-09||Requested that Council consider adopting a motion requesting UBCM to oppose the ride sharing policies proposed by the Public Transportation Board.||N/A|
|2019-07-22||Expressed concerns regarding TransLink’s plans to replace the full-size bus services (outside of rush hour) to shuttle sized vehicles. Requested Council send a letter to those involved with the responsibilities / decisions regarding this change and to request that they hold a public input session in the peninsula.||Council advised that the City is working on hosting a public forum regarding transit, adding that the City of Surrey and Translink representatives will be included. It was also reported that the type of bus may be changing to a double decker (Fall 2020).|
|2019-07-22||Spoke to the condition of the Maple Street neighbourhood between North Bluff Road and Russell Avenue. Also advised that the shipping containers are unsightly, and stated that they are on City property.||Staff advised that Bylaw Enforcement Officers will be dispatched to ensure that the fencing for this issue is located on the property lines. It was noted that the owners have been requested to secure the homes to ensure they are not unsightly. Staff will follow-up with the owners again.|
|2019-07-22||Spoke to the history of the development and naming of Totem Plaza and expressed concerns regarding Council’s recent decision to rename it.||N/A|
|2019-07-22||Asked the following questions:
o When the City last used section 131 of the Community Charter?
o What is the current state of the City Hall Annex? Noted that expenditures are high and would like to see City staff prolong the ability for staff to work there as long as possible.
|Staff advised that a corporate report regarding the status of the City Hall renovations would be brought forward in September, noting that the intent is to do renovations to the downstairs so that some of the staff located in the Annex can return to City Hall.
It was also noted that the City is looking for space for the RCMP / community police volunteers.
|2019-07-08||Commented on proposed fencing expected to be placed around the water treatment plant site lands (Oxford Street to Everall Street). Stated that the fence is not for security as there are no structures on the site. The residents use the site and have done so for decades. Stated there was no consultation on this matter. Inquired how can we balance security and the resident’s wishes to utilize the area in a respectful manner?||Staff noted the issue, as they understand it, is how can the fencing be adjusted so more area can be permitted for use by the citizens. A further report will be brought forward to a future meeting.
|2019-07-08||stated he walks the promenade almost daily and since March has not had a day that he has not seen at least one dog on the promenade and dogs on the beach off leash.
Suggests a volunteer citizen group be established to monitor the promenade in relation to dogs not being permitted there.
Stated concern with the Council’s selection of members to the Dogs on the Promenade Task Force (5 out of the 7 are supporters of permitting dogs on the promenade).
|the City has Bylaw Enforcement Officers / staff to monitor the bylaws. The City does not enforce dogs on the beach; it is not in the City’s jurisdiction.
The Task Force appointments are made by Council as a whole and will remain as it stands.
|2019-07-08||Inquired on the actual figures, not percentages, in regard to Council remuneration increases.
Would like to have the gross and net figures for the Mayor and Council remuneration for December 2018, January 2019, and the figures with the proposed 15% plus 2.9% increase; and what they would be originally proposed 26%
How do the salaries compare on a per capita bases with the comparable cities noted in the remuneration and expense policy as follows: City of Pitt Meadows, City of Port Moody, City of Langley.
What is the remuneration on a per area size for each of the areas noted as comparable cities within the Remuneration and Expense policy as follows: City of Pitt Meadows, City of Port Moody, City of Langley?
|The following gross amount of indemnification and noted further information will be brought forward on the website as part of the Question and Answer Period process:
- Mayor annual indemnification currently: $86,080 with the proposed increase of 18.3% the indemnification will increase to $101,860
- Council annual indemnification currently: $34,430 with the proposed increase of 18.3% the indemnification will increase to $40,740
- In addition the Deputy Mayor monthly indemnification currently $1,430 per month and with the proposed increase of 18.3% the indemnification will increase to $1,700
|2019-06-24||Concerns regarding homes along the west side of Maple Street. Noted the houses are unsightly with tall grass and garbage. It was noted these homes were once occupied and are now empty as the tenants have been evicted. Asked the City to address issues / develop a policy that addresses renovictions.||Staff advised that the Residential Tenancy Act holds the authority to address the protection rights and provisions of tenants. It was noted that permits must be in place prior to demolition, adding that tenants can appeal if they feel they have been wrongfully evicted.|
|2019-06-24||Spoke to TransLink’s plans to cancel full-size bus services (with the exception of Monday to Friday rush hour traffic). Asked Council to express concerns regarding the cuts to TransLink, and to ask that they host an open forum to receive input from the public.||Mayor Walker advised he will meet with the CEO and Senior Operations Officers of TransLink to address the concerns and impact to the Community.|
|2019-06-24||In regards to Whistle Cessation and asked if it is necessary to wait for the Coldicutt ravine barriers to be in place prior to asking Transport Canada for relief. Can White Rock ask for whistle cessation now, and can these matters be looked at on a case by case basis such as Coldicutt?||The City advised that they have met with Transport Canada who advised that the Coldicutt Ravine fence needs to be completed, and that the City will continue to work with them on achieving whistle cessation. The City will send an additional letter to Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) requesting if whistle cessation can be addressed more urgently.|
|2019-06-10||Expressed concerns regarding the use of straws, and would like to see the City look into banning single use plastic products.||Staff advised that while there is no policy currently in place with regard to single-use plastics, the Federal Government has just announced that they are looking towards a ban by 2021. How this ban will be implemented is currently being worked on by the upper levels of government.|
|2019-06-10||Expressed concerns with regard to patrons loitering when they leave the lat night restaurant establishment. Asked that the City erect a “No Loitering” sign.||Council noted that the City is aware of the situation and are working with the establishment to address the neighbourhood concerns. Staff advised that there have been a number of complaints received and that the City’s Bylaw Officers are working with the RCMP on this matter.|
|2019-06-10||Concerns with the City’s practice in regard to the maintenance of hillside parks. Stated that the City is in contravention of their Unsightly Premises and Graffiti Abatement Bylaw.
Suggested that if the City move towards naturalization of hillside parks, that a plan with policies and procedures be developed to ensure the program is a success. Would like to see an increase to the City’s maintenance levels on all City parks.
Asked that the City remediate the area that the playground was once standing and has since been removed.
|Council noted that road ends are something the City will be reviewing to address the frustrations expressed by the community with respect to this matter.|
|2019-05-27||When are the washrooms at Memorial Park going to be opened for use? Inquired if local businesses could be kept apprised of the progress / schedule of this work being completed.||Staff stated they now anticipate they will be open by the end of the week (May 31st). With respect to notifying local businesses, staff stated they reach out through the Business Improvement Association in this regard.|
|2019-05-27||When will the railway safety crossings will be completed?
Suggested as an option for railing/fencing at the top of the washrooms at Memorial Park that they be done in wire cable instead of the current design, stating this will allow for protection and the view and that other municipalities has utilized this method.
|Staff stated they anticipated the railway safety crossings will be completed by mid/end of June, 2019.|
|2019-05-27||Stated frustration with the railing/fencing that has been installed at the top of the washrooms at Memorial Park. Noted that the design blocks the ocean view. Further stated that they've waited through the construction process and is now disappointed and frustrated with the fencing that has been erected – there are other materials that could be used.||Staff stated that they have been looking for resolution for this and have the consulting team considering other options that would provide a more permeable opportunity but noted they still needed to work within the building code guidelines. Staff anticipate having some options during the month of June.|
|2019-05-27||Inquired if the rail safety crossings will be completed
soon and when can whistle cessation begin, understanding that completion of the rail crossings are required prior to this being considered.
||Staff stated that they anticipate the rail crossings to be completed mid/end of June 2019. It is the Ministry of Transportation who make the decision in regard to whistle cessation. Once the rail crossings are complete, the City will be in the position to submit their application into the Ministry. This will be done directly following completion of the crossing project.|
|2019-05-27||With respect to the City’s water billing system, inquired if the next billing cycle could have an extra line to note how much the cost is in per cubic metre so a comparison can be done with other municipalities.||Staff will see if the current invoicing system will allow for this to be shown.|
|2019-05-13||Inquired on the process in regard to previous questions being asked at this time.||Staff noted that questions from the meeting are recorded along with answers given at the meeting and if there is not an answer at the meeting one will be requested and placed on the City website at the following link: Question and Answer Period webpage.|
|2019-05-13||Inquired in regard to the parks, particularly small parks, around White Rock, stating that in some cases they don't appear to serve a purpose.||Staff noted that the largest parks are the Waterfront and Centennial Park and there are a number of neighbourhood parks.
The City will be reviewing the use of City lands and parks including road ends.
|2019-04-29||Will the City be able to address concerns regarding accessibility of the benches/steps at Memorial Park, noting that they are high and can be difficult to sit and navigate. It was suggested that a step be installed in between each current step so people can access any of the seating with more ease.||Staff advised they will investigate the concerns.|
|2019-04-29||When will backs be installed at the public benches along Johnston Road?||The seating design for those benches did not include backs.|
|2019-04-08||Reported that there is a new hydro-pole in the middle of the sidewalk at the corner of Finlay and Russell. The placement poses an access issue, and questioned how long it will take the City to correct / adjust the location. Also asked if there is an approval process when applications for the hydro poles come to the City.
Staff advised that they would investigate to see if the City has the ability to review (and monitor) the installation of Hydro poles, and will contact Hydro with respect to this particular scenario.
On April 29 it was suggested that all poles that are improperly installed/impacting sidewalk accessibility should be investigated.
|Staff advised that BC Hydro places the poles. The Utility Act allows the installation of the poles without consultation with the City.
The hydro pole at the corner of Finlay and Russell, previously located in the sidewalk, was recently replaced. Unfortunately, the replacement pole is also in the sidewalk and the new support wire encroaches further into the sidewalk than the previous support wire.
The City has contacted Hydro, and the City awaits response regarding a solution to the issue.
|2019-04-08||It was reported that a building application was submitted to the City, and at the time staff advised it wasn’t complete. When it was submitted, it was reported that there was a significant delay. Questioned why there was a hold-up on completing the process. Also expressed concerns regarding the fees associated with the process.||Staff advised that incomplete applications are taken out of the queue pending receipt of the missing information. At that time, the application is placed in the regular queue, and is not returned to the “head of the line”. It was noted that the application process and the scheduling of services is not the same.|
|2019-03-11||Inquired how much the City of White Rock paid in legal fees in regard to the file pertaining to Section 463?||This answer was not available at the meeting and would be noted through the City’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy process and placed on the FOI page once it is complete.|
|2019-02-25||Inquired if there was information in regard to riparian rights and how he can learn more about it.||Staff will follow-up in regard to the inquiry.|
|2019-02-11||Suggested that the needs parkland and greenspace, the road ends in the City have never been designated as park. Would urge Council to establish the road ends as park and open the opportunity for the community to landscape them, along with the City’s efforts. Inquired when the Council would make a decision be protect all of the road ends and not make them available for sale to any persons as they are City assets and should remain under the City.||There has been a corporate report to Council requested already in regard to road ends, it is anticipated to come back March 11, 2019.
|2019-02-11||In regard to the December 20, 2018 storm: Did the City have enough insurance on the harbor board managed west float to repair it and compensate the owners who lost their boats?||The City does have the Pier Insurance at the appraised value of $7M. The City’s insurers are reviewing the documentation regarding the damage and repair work necessary and is also working with the White Rock Harbour Board insurance company to help resolve the issues. In regard to the west float and boats that were lost – the City is waiting final confirmation.|
|2019-01-28||Commented that January 23, 2019 it was the highest tide of the month and it was half a meter higher than it was on December 20, 2018 (without any storm surges), does the City know what the geodetic height of the breakwater is now and how does it compare to what it was twenty (20) years ago?||Following the meeting staff confirmed that the City does not have this information.|
|2019-01-28||Noted concern with the new permit parking decal regulations / costs. She does not think it is fair she has to pay for a decal to park.||The City has recently announced the establishment of a Parking Task Force. The Parking Task Force’s work plan will include a review of the parking decal program.|
|2019-01-28||As a result of the December 2018 storm the City will be re-doing the “riprap” on East Beach, would like staff to review the use a soft berm approach instead; and further requested Council to assess the Marina Concept with the question what is the expense to re-build vs. the revenue.||The City in its' best effort to have the repairs completed as soon as possible will be again using the riprap approach; however, future considerations or works may include consideration of a soft berm approach.|
|2019-01-28||Commented their home was built in 1947 and has no driveway, with the new parking decal regulations it is unfair that there is now a $12 annual decal fee.||The City has recently announced the establishment of a Parking Task Force. The Parking Task Force’s work plan will include a review of the parking decal program.|
|2019-01-28||It would be helpful for the public if the City were to live stream the meetings.||The City offers live streaming of all Council and Standing Committee meetings held in the Council Chamber at City Hall on its website.|