Sunday, June 10, 2012

White Rock Seaside, Marine Dr. West by Bakerview Park BBQ's in danger. "BBQ's charcoal smells"...states Mayor Baldwin Louise Hutchinson & Grant Meyer in Council agrees!

Dave Chesney Editor of the White Rock Sun writes::

The following is an authentic copy of the posted article [no editing is made].

"June 05, 2012

Oooh What’s That Smell?

It was déjà vu all over again up at City Hall recently.  The topic of banning the city BBQ’s at Bakerview Park once again reared its ugly head.  The outcome was predictable.  Not unlike back in 2001 the council of today not unlike the council of that day wrestled with removing the BBQ’s due to complaints from local residents. 

A short history lesson.  Bakerview Park is that little strip of green grass near the boat launch at the end of West Beach on White Rock’s waterfront.  On weekends families flock to the area to take advantage of the BBQ’s and more importantly the picnic tables that dot the grass knoll.  While Mom and Dad lay out the potato salad and pour the Kool-Aid the kids can kick the soccer ball around are play a quick game of tag.

Three council members, Councillors Louise Hutchinson and Grant Meyer and Mayor Wayne Baldwin, want the charcoal BBQ/s gone.  Councillors Helen Fathers, Al Campbell and Mary Wade Anderson back leaving the BBQ’s right where they are.  The deciding vote will be Councillor Larry Robinson at an upcoming Council meeting.

Do the naysayers have a point here?  Is it a classic case of NIMBY?  Councillor Hutchison lives  on Marine Drive near the offending BBQ’s as does Councillor Grant Meyers parents.  Former City Manager Doug Stone who still pulls a lot of drag in this town, also lives across the road.  The negative side is proposing putting in gas BBQ’s.  In order to use the BBQ’s one would have to bring their own propane tank with them.   Possible solution to the problem.

Now I don’t know about you, but I kind of like those beach smells.  They are part of the summer symphony for the senses.  On rare occasions in the early morning hours you can still catch a whiff of a rogue beach fire smouldering on the beach.  Lights up the synapses and transports one back to their childhood, it does.  Having lived on the hillside above the pier in White Rock for years, you always get the smell of the deep fryers in the restaurants kicking into high gear around mid-afternoon.  Should we stop that as well?

I have not heard anyone that wants the BBQ’s moved pull out the health card, in that the burning of charcoal emits carcinogens.  Don’t even go there folks with those coal trains rolling by your front door everyday.  You would have to be burning chunks of charcoal the size of the White Rock itself to compare those health hazards.

If I was a betting man, I would bet Councillor Robinson backs the motion to rid the waterfront of those pesky BBQ’s.  No locals will give a rat's ass.  The locals are not the people that use the picnic benches and BBQ pits.  As a matter of fact locals rarely ever go to the waterfront.
The main users of the BBQ’s are tourists. 

You know the group of people our mayor feels fuels our sole economy.


Mayor Baldwin and Councillors Meyers and Hutchinson were solicited to state their feelings on this matter via email. Mayor Baldwin replied:

 Mayor Baldwin

*Yesterday I sent emails to the mayor and the two councillors that are endorsing the removal of the charcoal burning BBQ's.

Here is the mayor's reply

First off it is not about banning BBQs , it is about removing the charcoal burning BBQs installed annually by the city. They would be replaced with a flat metal stand that could be used for gas/propane BBQs.
The charcoal ones give off smells for hours - until they finally burn down. We have had a petition from residents complaining about the smell of the burning coals and the igniter fluids. Moreover, some people don't use coals but instead gather driftwood and burn it in the BBQs because the BBQs have the capacity to allow that. Finally, and equally importantly, we have no way of disposing of the ash so it often gets dumped where it should not (eg the beach).
In this day and age there is no need for charcoal as a fuel source and few people use it so why cater to it?

Wayne Baldwin
City of White Rock


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