White Rock needs a policy for naming lanes in the city after residents.
The suggestion from Coun. Lynne Sinclair came in response to a recent request to name a lane after a couple – Ross and Joyce Prior – whose roots in the city date back more than 50 years.
But Sinclair said simply allowing the naming without guidelines in place could open the door to problems.
“I think that gets us down a road that we might not want to go,” Sinclair said during a Jan. 24 meeting. “I think the family naming thing needs more thought.”
The issue was raised in response to a 2009 request from the Prior family to proclaim as Prior Lane a laneway which extends from Roper to Thrift avenue between Finlay and Maple streets. As well, Victoria Avenue residents have been asking since 2008 to name a lane north of Victoria, between Finlay and Fir streets, Victoria Lane, director of engineering and municipal operations Rob Thompson said. The latter request is to recognize the lane as the residences’ principal access, and ease finding of the homes for visitors and deliveries.
White Rock has a history of naming streets and lanes after long-term residents, notes a staff report. Johnston Road, Finlay Street, Lee Street, Parker Street, Thrift Avenue and Moffat Lane are all named after city pioneers.
The practice with naming lanes, however, has been to have them correspond with the street to the south or west of the lane in question, city manager Peggy Clark said – a tradition that fits with the Victoria Avenue residents’ request.
To go against that would result in “total confusion for the fire department and emergency vehicles,” Clark told council.
According to the Prior family, part of the lane they would like named was created using a 10-foot wide strip of their parents’ property. Ross and Joyce Prior lived at the property – located at the northeast corner of the lane – for more than 50 years before their recent move to Trail, Roger Prior explained in his written request. They still own it, along with a lot at the lane’s southwest corner.
Naming lanes in honour of citizens “is an idea that council could consider to embrace heritage and celebrate part of the history of White Rock,” Prior writes.
Sinclair noted all of the families that have streets named after them “go way back” in White Rock’s history.
She and fellow councillors supported a staff suggestion to amend the city’s Naming of Streets and Numbering of Houses Bylaw to include Victoria Lane, but did not support the naming of Prior Lane.