The Lack of Vision in City Hall

White Rock’s City Council’s lack of vision is truly disappointing. The City has purchased a house on Vidal Street with your tax dollars in order to create a few more parking spots near the beach at the cost $1.4 million  of your tax dollars.

13529whiterock1156VidalStreet

Is this really the best idea that our Mayor and City Council can come up with? Do they have Real-Estate on the brain? There are better alternatives if only they would divert their attention away from Real-Estate and start listening to new ideas from White Rock Citizens.

We need leaders who see beyond Real-Estate and short term solutions.

I think a far better idea would be to partner with White Rock Elementary and the Surrey School district to create a parkade on their school grounds. This would inject needed cash into the school, level out their playing fields, and provide hundreds of new parking spaces near five-corners while also providing a needed revenue stream for both the school and White Rock, and also supporting local businesses.

We could tap into Federal Development Funds and get much of this paid for by the government in support of local economic growth.

Imagine several levels of underground parking under the school grounds, with their existing soccer fields placed on top of the parkade, making the soccer fields level with the rest of the school grounds. Our kids get better facilities, the school has a revenue stream, White Rock City Hall makes money, and local businesses pull in more customers.

Everybody wins.

To connect with the waterfront and those local businesses as well, a vernicular could be built from five-corners down to the promenade for about the same cost as this house on Vidal that City Hall just purchased.

Let’s elect leaders with long term vision that improves our community, not leaders who choose to clearcut our forests, berate citizens who offer alternatives, and who pave over our city with High Rise towers in the name of Densification and Greed.

Elegant’s 24 and 21 Twin Towers on Oxford Approved by Mayor Baldwin and Council

Great turn out at tonight’s public meeting on the Elegant Twin Tower proposal for Oxford and Thrift: 73 Presenters, about 200+ in attendence, 346 written submissions, with 98% of written submissions by White Rock residents opposed, yet the development was approved by Mayor Baldwin (who had claimed earlier that he opposed it on Nov 23rd) and the Condo-Coalition, with Helen Fathers and David Chesney voting against. Final vote: 5 voted to approve, 2 against.

The City worked past its usual curfew of 1030 PM until just before Midnight letting people speak at the Public Hearing in order to vote on the development tonight, without taking the time to read and understand the written and spoken submissions by White Rock Residents. Then Mayor and Council reconvened their Special Council Meeting at midnight, Grant Meyer made a motion to put Bylaw 2123 (the OCP Amendment) to a vote and it was seconded by Bill Lawrence.  Then the Mayor and Coalition voted in favour with Chesney and Fathers opposed.

Then they started to discuss Bylaw 2056, the Rezoning bylaw. Helen Fathers made a motion to put the vote off to December 14 which was seconded by Dave Chesney. This motion was defeated 5-2 by the Mayor and the Coalition.

The Mayor and Coalition then voted to approve Bylaw 2056 which they did 5-2. There are a few nuts and bolts to thinker with on the Rezoning Bylaw but the Elegant deal is done as matters currently stand.

Elegant's The Oxford - Approved Dec7th

 

The general consensus of the public: The Owners of the Property, the Developers, and their Friends and Family, and Real-Estate Agents all spoke very highly of this project.

The general public spoke also spoke favourably about the design, but questioned the location as being outside the OCP zone, breaking several of Mayor Baldwin’s election promises, and being located too close to the White Rock’s Water Wells and the associated Chlorine Plant.

Citizens begged Council to not approve it at this location. Reasons included possible risk of contamination of our water supply as the building will be about 30 feet from our wells as opposed to the recommended 100 to 200 feet, the likely destruction of the protect trees and the Heron’s nesting site there, risk to the new residents from Chlorine Gas poisoning from the Chlorination Plant located only 20 feet away, plus the location violates the OCP and adds to the already congested Thrift and Oxford traffic problem.

After receiving 346 written submissions and hearing from 73 presenters, the Mayor and Council immediately voted to approve third reading of the project, clearly without any consideration of input presented by the Public, nor with insufficient time to review any of the submissions which were received by 4pm that day. Nice.

Plenty of excellent speakers, but strangely it was not recorded. Why wasn’t this Public Hearing Recorded? All the others have been. Why not this one? Strange.

White Rock City Council: Favoritism for the Few, leaves Frequent Frustration for Local Farmers and Residents Alike

White Rock Farmers’ Market start time too early?
The White Rock Farmers’ Market has been operating in Miramar Village Square since 2009 without a single noise complaint.
(See Peace Arch News White Rock Farmers’ Market disputes mayor’s ‘complaints )

The White Rock Farmers' Market has been operating in Miramar Village Square since 2009

The White Rock Farmers’ Market has been operating in Miramar Village Square since 2009

Yet Mayor Baldwin and City Councillors Bill Lawrence and Grant Meyer say that the Farmers Market 7am set up time is disturbing residents because one of their friends and fellow Coalition member, Cliff Annabelle, wrote the Mayor a single letter. Mayor Baldwin originally said that there had been many complaints over the years, then later admitted to PAN reporters that there are no other complaints on record. Just this one complaint, and in an instant, the rules for the Farmer’s market were changed because of this one complaint came from a friend of City Council.

If the Mayor and Council are so concerned about complaints, why did council ignore hundreds of complaints over the Vidal Street 12-Story Mega-Condo development that they approved? Or the White Rock Muffler Site Development’s excessive height? Or the sudden decision to move the location of the Evergreen Towers that needlessly destroyed heritage trees and impacted local residents and their property values? Or the hundreds of complaints over Omnibus Bylaw 2000 which allowed excessive heights on new buildings on the waterfront, blocking the view of all the existing residents and tax payers? Or the dozens of building permits that have destroyed heritage forests and allowed chain saws, jackhammers and trucks to disturb residents every morning at 7am?

Yet the mayor says “we have had complaints in the last couple of years” about the noise at the Market. Since when does one complaint constitute many? Clearly it does when it serves the Mayor’s agenda. Could this have more to do with White Rock City Council helping their fellow Coalition member while also sticking it to Councillor Helen Fathers who refused to join the Coalition in last years election?

Why is it ok for construction firms to start disrupting our city at 7am but not farmers? If only farmers could find a way to exploit local land to become rich so that they too could contribute to City Council campaigns. Perhaps they should build Condo Towers on their properties, then maybe our Council would listen.

Was this about Frustration with Farmers, or more about Friendly Favoritism for the Few? You decide.

Bad Governments are elected by Good People who DO NOT vote!

Be one of the good ones! Vote this year and bring some friends!

Remember what Mayor Baldwin told residents during the contested White Rock Muffler Public Hearing back in 2013?

He told residents to be quiet because he was the boss and he was running the meeting. Then he said, “If you don’t like it, there’s an election coming up on November 15th 2014. You can have your say then.”
White Rock Muffler Public Hearing

Well Mr. Baldwin, Winter is Coming. And so is November 15th.
It’s time for residents to have OUR say!

It only takes 2500 votes to win the Election in White Rock.
Mayor Wayne, I am the Boss, Baldwin wants you to think you cannot change City Hall. He is wrong. Together, we can!

Read about the White Rock Muffler Site Public Hearing in the Peace Arch News here.

Spread the word and get at least one friend who wants sustainable growth without high density to FOLLOW this page too. In a few weeks, we will be posting the voting record of each of the candidates along with a summary of which Candidates accept money from greedy developers.

Our Facebook page has 476 Likes. If everyone of you vote for Change, and if we each get 4 friends to vote for Change as well, we can send Mr.Baldwin and his Pro-High-Density slate away and stop them from turning our City by the Sea into another Whalley or Newton. Nobody wants that! That’s bad for business and its bad for residents.

Mayor Baldwin says that Towers are coming “whether people like it or not”.
Sorry to disagree Mr. Baldwin, but they are coming only if you get re-elected. You and your council refuse to listen to residents and refuse to abide by the OCP as required by law. We need leaders, not bullies.
White Rock Excessive Development Upsets Residents

Remember to vote this November 15th for change.
Together, we can fix City Hall this November.

Bad Politicians get Elected by Good People Who Do Not Vote

Remember that High Density Towers only helps Developers and the Politicians they support!
Densification increases taxes and crime and congestion on our roads. Our schools are already over-crowded and wait-times in the Emergency room are way too long as it is. By ignoring the OCP, Mr. Baldwin puts the value of our homes at risk. Do not be fooled by hype. Densification makes affording a single family home impossible and raises the cost of homes for new home buyers. It does not help with affordability. Look at the data. Years of Densification have increased our taxes, not lower them.
Years-of-Densification-has-Increased-Taxes

Mayor Baldwin promised action on the Trains as well. All we got were fences, midnight train horns, coal dust, and broken promises. I asked Mayor Baldwin why they could not at least restore the under-the-track tunnels to provide safe access to the beach. They used to be there but were removed to add a couple of parking spots. Check out what he said here. His answer was ridiculous, insulted the intelligence of everyone in that room, and showed a complete ignorance of basic science.

Lots of Promises about Trains, but all we get are fences.

Lots of Promises about Trains, but all we got were fences!

Remember the proposed South Surrey Casino that BCLC tried to force on us last year? Research tells us that people who live within 10 kms of a Casino are the most impacted by the adverse affects of gambling, and Seniors who visit Casinos are the most vulnerable to gambling addiction. Crime rates for Burglary and Assaults double within 5 years of a Casino being built in areas around a Casino. We (at NoCasinoSurrey) fought this hard (I personally donated 350 hours of my time to help) and finally won thanks to Mayor Watts and Surrey City Council and the support of the community. But we had NO help at all from White Rock City Council. You can see the details here and read the full report by NoCasinoSurrey.org here.
no-casino-south-surrey

What did Mayor Baldwin do about White Rock being targeted for a Casino?
Nothing! He said that it did not affect White Rock.
The facts are that residents within 8 kms of a Casino, and especially seniors, are at highest risk of getting a gambling addition or becoming a victim of a crime! White Rock city center would have been less than 3 kms from the Casino. It would have affected White Rock even more than Surrey. But White Rock ignored the issue while Surrey agreed that the new Casino was a bad idea.

What kind of Mayor ignores the concerns of local residents like this?
A Mayor should represent the people, not special interest groups!

White Rock needs change now!
We do not need 4 more years of Mr. Wayne “I am the Boss” Baldwin

Vote for Change on November 15th!

White Rock – Should it stay or Should it grow?

The real issue with development here in White Rock is whether our local politicians and local government are working in the community’s best interest. Or, as many residents believe, does it appear that our local politicians are ignoring the wishes of the community? Many would say YES.

It appears that residents are NOT being listened to by our local politicians. Politicians appear to be doing what is best for their own personal benefit and careers, and are doing what is best for filling the pockets of the developers who pay for the politician’s own election campaigns.

That’s a conflict of interest and that is not right!
We demand better from City Hall, or at least we should!.

Scott at Miramar Towers in White Rock
You can read the Surrey Now’s story on White Rock Development by clicking here .

The problem is not with the investors nor even the developers. They are just trying to make a living and there is nothing wrong with that. Provided developers enhance our community and do so ethically with the best interest of the community for long term sustainable growth, that is great. Developers are not the enemy. We hope they continue to develop White Rock in healthy sustainable ways for the benefit of the community, and make money doing so. Money that we hope will be re-invested into the community.

The problem with offshore investors and developers, whether they come from abroad or from Ontario or from Surrey or from anywhere else, is that they have no emotional or financial stake on how their development impacts the residents within the community. Do they care if people are unhappy? Do they care if White Rock becomes another Newton or Whalley? No.

When politicians listen to developers from outside our community, the money made on these developments leaves the community never to return. That hurts the local economy and it hurts local business.

The result of all this greedy short-term development: the community is left in a poorer state financially and, more importantly, loses its small town appeal and community feel. It is us, the residents of White Rock, who are left to clean up the mess left behind.

Bullying in White Rock

It is anti-bullying day.
What better day to discuss bullying done by City Council and the Mayor?

I was very disappointed during Monday night’s City Council meeting to see Mayor Baldwin shutdown legitimate questions by Mr. Dennis Lypka during question period. I like Mayor Baldwin and voted for him during the last election. I would not do that again. Has he forgotten that his role is to listen to residents, no matter how uncomfortable those questions may be for City Council to hear?
We need a Council that Listens

Kudos to Councillor Alan Campbell and Helen Fathers who raised some excellent points about the proposal and why they opposed it. The current plan needlessly impacts neighbours and deviates from the original plan which would have provided more patio space and green space for Evergreen patients, while also protecting the old growth trees and not impact views for neighbouring properties. This proposal is flawed and not in the best interest of the patients or nearby residents.

Councillor Helen Fathers and Alan Campbell stood by residents and patients by voting against this change to the OCP. I will vote for them. The others including the Mayor voted for this very flawed plan that eliminates outdoor patio space for patients, destroys old growth trees and residents views in the Belaire. All to save some money for the developer while cost residents millions in property values. Patients and Residents need to come first, not developers. We need a change at City Hall this November. Please vote for a Council that puts residents first, not developers.
Evergreen Baptist Care Home Parking Lot

Here are the questions that Mr. Lypka wanted to ask Council in his own words. If you want answers to these questions, I suggest you email Mayor Baldwin and City Hall and demand answers.

1) What analysis did City Staff and Council do of the affects and impacts that the Evergreen Project would have on adjacent homeowners and on the Community before approving Bylaw No. 2045?

2) If an analysis was done, when will that analysis be made available to the Public?

3) If no analysis was done, can Council please explain how it can adopt Bylaw No. 2045 and still carry out its duty to good governance for the benefit and well-being of the community?

4) City Staff and Council have been aware since November of the many process failures and defects associated with the Evergreen Project, all of which have been advantageous to the Developer. Can Council please explain why they have failed to ensure that these failures and defects were promptly addressed?

5) Bylaw No. 2045 contains known errors, defects and inconsistencies which both City Staff and Council have been made aware of in writing for weeks. Can Council please explain why they would ignore these facts and not correct the proposed Bylaw before voting to approve Bylaw No. 2045?

6) The Director of the Planning & Development Services City Staff that Council relied upon for the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045 was dismissed for cause in January 2014. Some of the dismissed Director’s work such as the Medicinal Marijuana Zoning was held back in the approval process for further review. Can Council please advise why the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045 were not similarly held back for further review?

Dennis had this to say after being shut down during Question Period:
If these questions and the other proper questions that other citizens tried to ask last night somehow made Council feel uncomfortable, that is unfortunate. But Council’s personal discomfort is not sufficient justification to deny citizens their right for an opportunity to speak and refuse to allow the questions to be addressed to Council at Question Period under the terms of Bylaw No. 1860. Remember, as I tried to remind Council last night, Question Period has been the only time when citizens have ever been allowed to ask Council any questions whatsoever about the Evergreen Project and Bylaw No. 2045. Two (2) minutes each of questioning from a few citizens to Council with the cameras turned off is hardly any sort of gruelling inquisition or nefarious, in depth second guessing of Council’s decision. But Council’s actions in this regard are consistent with the City’s pattern in its handling of the Evergreen Project since the Evergreen project was first brought to public light in late October of 2013. Once more, this is just another paving stone in the long, bumpy, bumpy road that is the history of the Evergreen Project.

Let’s not forget what happened to residents on Vidal Street or on Bishop Hill. Vote for a Council that supports the wishes of residents, not developers. The Rally on Vidal with Lilians Sign
White Rock Bishop Hill with Chris Small

And let’s not forget about the White Rock Muffler site development where hundreds of residents voiced concerns. During that council meeting, the Mayor told residents who had concerns that he was the Boss, and that if residents did not like it, then there was an election coming in 2014 and residents could express their views then. That is not good enough Mr. Baldwin. We expect more from our Mayor. Let’s remind the bullies at City Hall about that in November on election day.
Residents View Proposed Development on old Muffler Site