Extension of Vancouver seawall from Kitsilano to Jericho beach under consideration

Vancouver city council and the park board are both set to discuss the possibility of extending the seawall from Kitsilano to Jericho beach as separate motions come forward this month.

Poll

How do you feel about a possible extension of the seawall from Kitsilano to Jericho?

I'm for it 73%
134 votes
I'm against it 20%
36 votes
I'm not sure 7%
13 votes

A motion will be moved by Non-Partisan Association councillor George Affleck and seconded by Green councillor Adriane Carr at city council next week proposing that staff look into an extension along the 3 km stretch.

“It really is about doing that research, and asking staff to come back with a report to do proper public engagement, find out what the opportunity is, look at the funding partners, look at security, privacy, all those things, and report back to council on the possibility of how this might work,” Affleck told the Straight.

Vancouver park board chair Sarah Blyth also plans to bring a motion forward later this month on the issue. She said the seawall extension is under consideration by the park board following an offer of a private donation to help fund the link.

“There’s been a donor come forward who uses the seawall, a private donor, who would be willing to donate a substantial amount,” Blyth said in a phone interview.

“It’s helpful when you have a certain amount of money donated…it would help us leverage other monies."

Blyth said a public consultation process would be the first step as the city considers the possibility of a seawall extension.

“First what comes is the public consultation to see if it’s something that Vancouver wants,” said Blyth.

“What we do is just put it out there, see if that’s what people want, do a community consultation, see if it can work.”

Blyth added it’s “a priority” for both the park board and the city to look into completing the seawall network.

“It seems that everybody agrees that this is something we need to look at,” she said.

“I’m hoping once we put the motion forward, we’re going to move as quickly as possible to get something on this.”

Affleck’s motion will go before council next Tuesday (July 10).Blyth will move her motion on July 23.

Comments (22) Add New Comment
SallyW
Yes please! And also, we should connect the two existing links! False Creek via the Carrall Street Greenway so that we can all link to Stanley Park and tourists can easily trek (with their $$ ;) from the cruise ships down to Gastown and Chinatown and then along to Granville Island!
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jonny .
Yes, finally!

That beach is public property, not owned by the residences behind. We have the right to use that strip of beach behind the houses, so dont let the rich people veto something that benefits millions of people.

If they put up a fuss, we should all go out and use the beach. Privacy should not be a concern of the city. No one else's yard gets special treatment for privacy, so neither should these ultra-rich people.
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Bad idea
That stretch of beach has a number of access points and if you take the time to go down you get an amazing glimpse into the world of nature. Much like stepping into Pacific Spirit Park, you feel like you have entered another world. Sure there is the downtown skyline and all the boats to let you know you aren't far from the inhabited world, but if you look down at what is going on at your feet, listen to the lapping or crashing sounds of the water, or smell the sea air it takes the edge off the hustle and bustle of city living.

We need some wild places left in place. Turning it into another exercise expressway is in my opinion a royally bad idea. It seems like there would be better places to put the money. How about buying the Arbutus rail corridor and getting a cool bike/walk way through there?
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Perdido
Public Consultation? Since when has Vision Vancouver ever given a hoot about what the public wants?

That aside, what happened to the preservation of the natural state of the beach in that area? Wasn’t the idea to leave it in its natural state for the waterfowl, etc.?
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Political Will
Good grief don't you have enough asphalt and concrete in that city already?
Pave paradise put up a sea wall.
Is that Grouse Grind paved yet?
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jonny .
Perdido, water foul dont live on beaches.

If they want to help wate foul, they can put posts in the water with bird houses on top like they did in port moody.

The rich like to use the "natural state" as an excuse to have their own private beach which they do not own.

I am all for preserving nature and wildlife habitats, but the fact is that small stretch of beach is not home to lots of wildlife, and would not really be affected by a sidewalk. The only things affected would be the rich people who dont want to give up their private beach.
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jonny .
One thing we have to consider in contrast to "natural habitats" being taken away is that providing great outdoor areas for people increases their physical activity, which makes them happier and healthier. It is good for people to get out and go to the seawall and walk around, and this extension makes it easier to access some of our great outdoor spaces. So sometimes its better to give up some natural spaces to make a big difference in peoples lives.
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JimB
I do have a problem with governments significantly effecting peoples personal property no matter how "rich" they are. I think we should build bikes lanes through the Mayor's backyard into a public viewing area so the public can peer into his windows. Apparently that's no big deal. He's
"rich" after all let's stick it to him. I'll pay for the public viewing spot at Moonbeam's house complete with those steel binoculars. Apparently that's all it takes.
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Perdido
Jonny, the Point Grey Shoreline is not a private beach as anyone can access it via a number of public stairways. It differs from other Vancouver beaches in that it has been left in its natural rocky/barnacle encrusted state and provides a habitat/feeding ground for various creatures that inhabit the shore. It offers, to use one of Mayor Moonbeam’s favourite buzzwords, biodiversity.

What I worry about more is the need to homogenize every inch of public space in Vancouver and make it identical. You don’t think that the Parks Board will be able to resist trucking in sand to ‘beautify’ the beach, do you? Perhaps build it all the way to Wreck Beach to gawk at nudists in comfort…

Finally, I do wonder why these magnanimous donors, that have been popping up lately, are anonymous. Is there a hidden agenda that we should be aware of?
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Xtina

Have you slalomed the Sea Wall lately? Nevermind the seaside vistas and magnificent consciousness of Nature incarnate there! No, one is too hyper aware of double-wide baby buggies, in-line skaters swooshing past, inert tourists and testosterone fueled cyclists. Yeah, let's do this to the "rich people's park"....and pave it too!
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Uninformed publican
That beach was preserved as a natural treasure due to its unique nature but all bets are off in Vancouver these days and it seems like a 'natural' public opinion ploy for any politician no matter how small.

Hopefully the "Public" won't fail to appreciate the irony of criminal charges against John Laxton for similar actions on West Van waterfront - published by the cbc today.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/07/05/bc-fishe...
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John S
No more concrete. The material is totally destructive to the environment and the last thing we need is more excuses to pour more of it on some of our last remaining beach-heads. Just be done with it and create properly separated bike lanes on the existing roads.
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Trank
I've always wondered why the didn't finish it. The bike ride down Cornwall is insane and dangerous. Someone needs to properly finish the seawall to Harbour Side (Crab Park) as well, to the east side. Why not.
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Pat
Extending a seawall from Kits Beach up to the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club to connect with the Jericho area is a fantastic idea.

It's not a long stretch from one point to the other, and the cries about destruction of natural habitat are overblown ... probably by the very people who want to keep this area off limits to anyone but themselves.

You rarely hear anyone complain about how a similar seawall absolutely transformed the shores of False Creek into a wonderful place for people from all over to stroll and cycle and enjoy the water front.
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miguel
It doesn't have to be concrete. We're pretty good at wharf building, and a substantial part of Coal Harbour seawall is planked.
Miguel
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1%
What a terrible idea. Disgraceful. I have worked very hard to rob the peasants of their pittance wages and purchase a home on the "miracle mile" i will be throwing money by the buckets at the lackey politicians i own to ensure this seawall never happens and the scum middle class peasants will not pollute my environment with their common stench. My God, just imagine, the hordes of cud chewing middle class scum waddling their way within my families sightlines.. there could even be, dare i say the word, renters among them. My PR strategy shall be to strike fear in the hearts of the sheeple to create pity for us... Kidnappers and home invaders will be casing our homes.. sex slave traders will be stalking the wall seeking to snatch our defenseless cute teenage daughters from our very own backyards...This will not stand you untermensch. you have been warned!
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W. End
The comments below seem to summarize quite well the Vision Vancouver approach to "consultation":

"Blyth said a public consultation process would be the first step as the city considers the possibility of a seawall extension. “First what comes is the public consultation to see if it’s something that Vancouver wants,” said Blyth. “What we do is just put it out there, see if that’s what people want, do a community consultation, see if it can work.”

But why consult when the next offered is:

"Blyth added it’s “a priority” for both the park board and the city to look into completing the seawall network."

So public input be damned.

Shall we expect a social media campaign, a public meeting for the neighbours (who's concerns will be ignored), and construction to start next spring? If so, why not just be honest about commencing the project rather than wasting people's time?
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Jan D
I'm just wondering who is coming up with these brilliant idea at City Council.

Have they not heard or read that sea levels rising and shorelines are eroding? So, when this seawall erodes ..Who is going to pay for it? Of course, it will be the Tax Payers of Vancouver.

As if we don't have enough debt from the 2010 Olympics that we have to pay off. Not to mention increasing Managers' salaries there at City Hall. Good Way to Keep the Hierachy Employed.
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Ramona de Graaf
Beaches are critical habitat for the marine environment. Beaches are built by erosionary forces of the land. Seawalls, over time, causes beaches to reduce in size and eventually disappear. Beaches are also critical spawning habitat for two important species of forage fish (surf smelt and Pacific sand lance) and as such beaches are what we call a "valued ecosystem component" for the marine environment. Obviously this piece of important ecology is lost to proponents of a seawall.

Ramona de Graaf, BSc., MSc.
Marine Biologist and forage fish specialist
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miguel
Boardwalks are used in areas to control pedestrian erosion. You can see them used in many places in our parks.
Miguel
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