Our City by the Sea is under attack. By our own city council, lead by Mayor Baldwin and the majority of City Councillors and funded by Greedy Developers who seems to be immune to following the OCP rules and city bylaws. Now Mayor Baldwin has hand-picked a slate of Pro-Development candidates.
Nov 11th Correction: Mayor Baldwin has denied any involvement with the White Rock Pro-Development Coalition. They may have similar goals and campaigns, but Mayor Baldwin denies that he has any connection to the Coalition. Readers should decide for themselves if there is a connection. Our apologies for drawing this conclusion.
Notice that councillors Helen Fathers and Alan Campbell are excluded. Mr. Baldwin does not want anyone on Council that he cannot control and who will not put developer’s interests above White Rock citizens. For me, this is an endorsement for both Helen and Al.
While Mr. Baldwin has been Mayor, and previously as CAO at City Hall, a large number of publicly opposed and unsuitable high-density developments have been passed by the Mayor and City Council. All of the following developments were opposed by residents and neighbours, but were approved by council anyway.
- Bosa Towers – Mr. Baldwin helped push through this very unpopular development and even helped finance the project using your tax dollars to provide the project with a low-interest short-term mortgage worth several million dollars. Under Jean Kromm’s leadership over 3000 household signed a petition against this development. The Citizen’s strong opposition to this project was ignored by City Council and the Bosa Towers started White Rock’s downward high-density demise. Read more about this in this 2006 newspaper article here.
- White Rock Muffler Shop – Over Height and opposed by vast majority of residents. Mayor “the Boss” Baldwin says “Because I am the Boss” and if you do not like it, there will be an election Nov 15th 2014
- Evergreen Baptist Care Facility Expansion – Passed despite impact on neighbours and patients. Read more here and here
- 12-Story Mega Condo at Mariner’s Reach on Vidal Street
- Carriage Home Fiasco at Thrift and Finlay
- The Sausalito – City allows building to exceed height restrictions despite neighbour objections
- Bishop Hill Planning Fiasco costs resident tens of thousands in lost home value
- Upcoming: Council to give EPCOR $13 Million Land Bonaza
- TWELVE New 24-Story Mega-Towers Planned for City Center
So with all this development and increased density, why are White Rock Taxes so High? Some people argue that increasing density is a good thing for White Rock and that adding more people will lower our taxes. Nothing could be further from the truth! White Rock has been increasing its density for over a decade now. Let’s see how its working out for our taxes!
Here’s a graph that compares White Rock’s taxes to similar BC Cities. Notice how our taxes are WAY higher! Higher density means Higher Taxes. Check out Pitt Meadows for example. White Rock has about the same population as Pitt Meadows, but the average taxes paid by homeowners in White Rock is DOUBLE what residents in Pitt Meadows pay! And White Rock’s density is TWICE the density of Surrey. Are our taxes lower? Not at all! Our taxes are about 50% higher than Surrey for residents, and 300% higher for businesses. That’s not right!
Increased density increases taxes, lowers your property values, and raises your taxes. Increased density brings increased crime, congestion, and over-crowds our schools. Increased density raises costs for everyone and makes single family housing an unobtainable dream for new families and senior citizens on fixed incomes. Do we really want a city where all the children are raised in condo towers and where are seniors can no longer afford to own their own backyard garden? I do not think so.
Why are housing prices so out of line with average incomes in White Rock? Why is housing so unaffordable? Why do they keep building Condos here in White Rock when the majority sit empty? There are global factors involved that are making it attractive for developers to cram this city with huge empty towers, while making White Rock unaffordable for new families to buy a single family home. City Council is ignoring this important issue and are blinded by their greed for Developer Campaign Contributions. Increased Density hurts our city, kills local business, and drives prices and taxes up. Read more here.
Prosperity is possible without towers. Check out how good city councils with strong vision helped this small Italian town prosper through natural beauty and tourism rather than nasty towers by clicking here.
White Rock could do this too! If White Rock elects a City Council with a vision for the Future.