In the context of recent proposals in the city to extend a seawall path from Kitsilano Beach to Jericho Beach, volunteer researchers have turned up documents showing that both the Vancouver Parks Board and City Council have adopted motions calling for the preservation of the Kitsilano shoreline as a natural beach — in 1993 and 1994. Parks Board staff provided the documents upon request this summer. Before continuing with any discussion about extending the seawall, the next step in on this topic should be for elected officials on the Board and Council to do due diligence and find out what happened after those public decisions. Did someone drop the ball in the 1990s? Further research may be required in archives in Vancouver and Victoria.
The November 5, 1993 letter from the Point Grey Natural Foreshore and Waterfowl Sanctuary Protective Society (PDF Foreshore Society to Vancouver Council, 5-Nov-1993) indicates that on October 8, 1993, Vancouver City’s Planning and Environment Committee adopted the following resolution:
THAT Council support the preservation of the Point Grey Road Waterfront as a natural beach, and reject the “Point Grey Road Waterfront Study” on the understanding public access to the natural beach will be maintained.”
The minutes of the Parks Board meeting of October 17, 1994 (PDF Park Board minutes, Pt Grey Foreshore etc, 17-Oct-1994) prove that commissioners unanimously adopted this motion:
THAT the Board request the City to advise the Provincial Government of its desire to keep the Point Grey waterfront as natural beach, and pursue a lease with the province for the creation of a Point Grey Foreshore and Marine Sanctuary with the provision that there be no development, no concrete walkway and no sewer construction on the Point Grey Foreshore.
The Foreshore Society in 1993 recommended that the City do everything in its power to:
- preserve the Foreshore in its present natural state and to protect it from encroachment and development;
- protect the plant and animal life of the Foreshore in on and beside the ocean;
- preserve the unique geology of the Foreshore, including the sandstone cliffs and the plant life on them; and
- cause or allow to be erected Notice Boards describing the Foreshore and educating the public in its care and maintenance.