The Jericho Marginal Wharf has got more than it’s fair share of coverage on Kitsilano.ca – check it out.
Now thanks to the keen eye and reporting of Kitsilano’s Joan Bunn, there is a controversy brewing.
Bunn has a bee in her bonnet about the construction fencing that now surrounds the popular landmark when a public consultation on its fate isn’t scheduled until the fall.
Joan Bunn, part of a group of residents trying to save the wharf, also wants to know why the decision to fence the wharf was made by parks staff, without any consultation with the board’s commissioners.
“The four [commissioners] I spoke to or heard back from when I made inquiries in late May, after I discovered the fence on what was supposed to have been a pleasant stroll on the wharf, seem not to have been aware of the issue until after the fence was already erected,” said Bunn.
Bunn added considering the controversy the issue has created, she assumed parks staff would have notified the board about the fencing.
In February, the board, with the exception of the Green Party’s Stuart Mackinnon, voted to hold a second public consultation on the fate of the wharf, built more than 60 years ago as part of the former Jericho Seaplane Base. The second consultation was to run this spring or summer, but the board couldn’t hire a consultant in time and it’s been postponed to the fall.
Why should Vancouverites care about the Jericho Marginal Wharf? Here’s the history:
Jericho Beach was home to the Pacific Coast Station of the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1921 to 1945. The wharf’s perimeter was installed during the 1976 United Nations Habitat Forum at Jericho Beach. The railings came from the Lions Gate Bridge, which was under renovation.
In 2008 the former park board voted to tear down the wharf and leave a small portion as a memorial for an estimated cost of $1.1 million, with $500,000 in maintenance over 10 years. Other options included repairing the entire wharf for $1.8 million, with $100,000 to $200,000 needed every six years for maintenance, or spending $2 million to demolish the entire wharf and reinstate the foreshore and seawall the wharf occupies.
Bunn had planned to hold a public photo contest on the wharf this summer to highlight its looming demolition but it looks like the six-foot fence blocking access with prevent that from happening.
My guess is that this story and the wharf won’t be going away any time soon.
Last modified: July 2, 2009