West Vancouver may be one of the wealthiest communities in the Lower Mainland, but you wouldn’t know that from the public infrastructure and amenities it provided to its citizens. There is hardly a day that goes by without citizens writing to the council to highlight the gross neglect of public facilities in the district.
And these citizens’ complaints aren’t just idle rants: Many citizens have been doggedly documenting the poor state of public infrastructure in West Vancouver and sending pictures to council in the hope that some action will be taken.
In the last few months, council has heard about the gross negligence of the historic KleeWyck house, the disrepair of washrooms and lack of general upkeep of public parks such as the John Lawson Park.
Now, a citizen is taking the district to task on the shabby state of the popular Ambleside Beach. The citizen first wrote to the district three years ago and made the district aware of the unwelcoming and shabby state of the beach, especially in the summer months when locals and tourists flock to the area to enjoy time with their loved ones.
Three years later, the citizens wrote to the district, nothing much has changed. Sending in picture that document the neglect from one single day, the citizen said there as seaweed, wood and other debris that made it difficult to find a clean spot to put a towel. The citizen is also drawing the district’s attention to a railing leading to the beach, a ‘disgusting sight of rust and neglect, perhaps even dangerous to touch.’
“I, for one, need the railing to walk up any steps. It is the only railing to access the beach and most people use this access. I would hope that West Vancouver can afford to replace this railing with a rust free stainless steel one. I think we residents and taxpayers deserve this,” he said.
The citizen would also like the district to focus its attention on a non-working shower. “It only dribbled a little last year, no chance to rinse off sand or salt water. The ocean is not always warm enough for a swim. However, a working shower to cool off would be greatly appreciated,” he said.
Meanwhile, the district is finally responding to scathing criticism about the John Lawson Park and giving it the attention it so desperately deserves. District of West Vancouver will renovate the washrooms at John Lawson Park. The contract was given in April and work will start soon, said Andrews Banks, senior manager of Parks for the District of West Vancouver.
In December, a citizen complained to the district about water puddles in the park that make it difficult for people to enjoy the area, and even offered to donate $100 for a load of clean gravel.
Last month, another West Vancouver citizen wrote a scathing letter to the district, chiding it for delays in renovating the women’s washroom at the park. The citizen first wrote to the district two years ago and was told the renovations will be complete by the spring of this year.