The City of White Rock will close one lane of Marine Drive this season to extend patio space for restaurants, which are financially struggling during the pandemic.
City Council made the decision at a May 10 Council meeting. The Council motion is to “direct staff to close the north lane of Marine Drive, as presented by the Director of Engineering and Municipal Operations this evening, until September 2021; This is to be done in consultation with the Business Improvement Association (BIA) and in order to help mitigate risk the emergency services (Fire and RCMP), in order to help support businesses along Marine Drive.”
The closure will take place after a City team that includes engineering, roads and emergency services confirms a plan with input from the White Rock BIA, representing restaurants, for a safe, effective closure.
The closure is likely to mean that eastbound travel will be permitted on Marine Drive. The date and details still need to be confirmed and communicated by the City. The safety of diners and pedestrians, and access to parking for Marine Drive residents, are top priorities.
Video of May 10 City Council meeting
Agenda for May 10 Council meeting
Mayor Darryl Walker
City of White Rock
“Businesses on Marine Drive, including restaurants, have suffered financially during the pandemic, and are struggling to pay rent and to pay their employees. These are our neighbours, our friends, and we want to ensure that when the pandemic is over, our restaurants can welcome back all the visitors who love coming to White Rock.
Thank you to City staff for your flexibility in creating the safest possible plan to help our restaurants survive this challenge. We will work to minimize the impact on local residents wherever possible. And thank you to everyone who continues to follow COVID-19 safety protocol, wearing your masks and not travelling far from your neighbourhoods.”
White Rock BIA
“Thank you to White Rock City Council and staff for your leadership and responsiveness during this challenging time. The White Rock BIA and White Rock businesses are very grateful that Council approved this initiative last night. Extending patio space will help restaurants and cafes along Marine Drive survive the capacity restrictions from the Provincial Health Officer due to COVID-19.
“This initiative joins others passed by this Council—including waiving patio licence fees and offering free parking daily from November to January—to support the small businesses that make our community so very remarkable.”