New seawall pedestrian path to be built through parking lot under Granville Bridge

An awkward detour on the North False Creek seawall for pedestrians will be eliminated through the future renovation and expansion of the False Creek Yacht Club (FCYC).

Currently, the seawall pathway for pedestrians abruptly turns into the surface vehicle parking lot for the marina under the north side of the Granville Street Bridge in downtown Vancouver.

Technically, the pedestrian pathway takes a detour north around the perimeter of the marina’s vehicle parking lot, joining the Seaside Greenway segment for cyclists at Kinghorne Mews, before transitioning back to the seawall on either side of the bridge.

But pedestrians are also known for walking through the parking lot for a more direct route to reach the other side of the seawall.

The existing configuration of the surface parking lot under the north end of the Granville Street Bridge, where False Creek Yacht Club is located. (Google Maps)

False Creek Yacht Club seawall pathway

Eastbound pedestrians on the North False Creek seawall are technically required to take a left turn to detour around the parking lot, instead of walking straight through the parking lot under the Granville Street Bridge. (Google Maps)

But in exchange for the development permit for the marina project, the property owner is required to establish the design and construction of a direct pedestrian seawall pathway connection through their parking lot. This was a condition established by the City of Vancouver’s Development Permit Board early this month.

A decades-old statutory right-of-way runs through this property for this purpose, and the Southeast Granville Slopes Official Development Plan for the area dating back to 1984 stipulates “an attractive pedestrian open space system, including the waterfront walkway, will provide the basis for a pedestrian-oriented neighborhood.”

False Creek Yacht Club expansion

Site plan of the False Creek Yacht Club’s marina finger expansion, with the statutory right-of-way for the seawall pedestrian pathway outlined. (Typlan Planning & Management/False Creek Yacht Club)

False Creek Yacht Club expansion

Site plan of the False Creek Yacht Club’s marina finger expansion, with the statutory right-of-way for the seawall pedestrian pathway outlined. (Typlan Planning & Management/False Creek Yacht Club)

The marina project’s primary objectives, as proposed by the proponents, include the removal and replacement of existing docks and fingers with environmentally friendly options, adding six new finger floats for moorage within the existing water lot, expanding existing private washroom facilities, and removing 24 timber piles and six steel piles, which will be replaced with 31 new steel piles.

Immediately adjacent to the marina and parking lot is a three-storey commercial building perched over water on pilings. It includes Chang’an Restaurant on the main floor and the False Creek Yacht Club on the third floor.

However, the second level, a 5,464 sq ft space, is currently vacant. It was previously occupied by Waterview — a popular special events and wedding venue with unique overlooking views of the False Creek waterway and Granville Island — but they permanently closed from being unable to weather through the pandemic.

Last week, the Vancouver Park Board also approved a route for improving the Seaside Greenway’s access for cyclists through Kitsilano Beach Park.

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