In front of a packed city council meeting on Monday Sept 8th, White Rock planning Director Karen Cooper recommended that Council break the law by ignoring the OCP and Local Government Act and approving a 6-unit apartment complex on a tiny single family home lot on Thrift despite a packed house of residents opposing the plan! This plan will be voted on by City Council on Sept 29th. Be there!
Here is the direct quote from our Director of Planning Karen Cooper:
“Staff support the application to rezone the property located at 14937 Thrift Avenue to allow the construction of a six-unit concrete apartment building.” – K. Cooper, Director of High Rises and Densification, City of White Rock
This recommendation suggests that the 6-unit apartment building be permitted even though it violates the existing OCP density restrictions. That is nothing new, but to do so without an OCP amendment is illegal and sets a dangerous precedent which Council it not permitted to do under the Local Government Act.
Why is this important to you and your community?
By setting the precedent that the OCP is a “guideline”, it opens the door for greedy developers to build whatever they want where ever they want! That is not good for our community and it is not good for citizens. This will impact your home and its resale value. We heard from one unfortunate homeowner on Thrift who lost over $40000 on the sale of their home thanks to excessive density and development by a developer next door (and received offers as low as $100k below assessed value!).
Building High Density is a Win for Developers/Politicians and a Lose for Citizens
Developers have everything to gain and nothing to lose when they build high density in our community. And our Mayor and City Councillors who are supported by these developers win as well. It’s the residents of White Rock that lose with uncontrolled excessive development! We lose with property values, increased taxes, increased crime, increased traffic, increased school over-crowding, and increased hospital wait times. Our small town community feel is under attack by greedy developers and by the politicians that the developer support.
That’s not right!
The role of the OCP is to protect homeowners rights and their investment!
Instead, the OCP is used by Developers to do whatever they want are your expense!
The City’s Argument:
If we look at the average density in this single family area of town, the existing developments have not used up their full density quota, so we can add the unused density to this lot.
The City’s Argument is Illegal and Invalid
This argument is not only illegal and unjust to surrounding home owners, the city’s math is incorrect and misleading. Even if “averaging” was legal, and its not, the city based their argument on a selection of lots in the area that were cherry picked for their low density development, but conveniently left out high density planned development such as the Cressey 12-Story Mega-Condo currently planned for Vidal street just a few lots away. If one took the Cressey Mega-Condo into account, the average is WAY too high.
Good try White Rock.
Please stick to the OCP and only approve legal developments.
You have seen what happened on Bishop’s Road and how developers built a condo with the balconies so close to neighbors that condo owners could watch as
Ross wrote a great article summarizing the details, which is available at the White Rock Sun “In My Opinion” column. Here is an excerpt below:
The minute the Director of Planning recommended that the project be approved by council despite the serious violations of both the OCP and the Local Government Act is the moment that this issue became much more than simply how many units are allowed. Staff and Council’s dogged insistence to shove this down the throat of the Citizens of White has elevated this to a question of Moral Compass. Do we want our community to be imposed on us by the wishes of developers and speculators from elsewhere who council members take money from or do we want to keep White Rock a great place to live and protect those qualities that have made it a place that is envied by others. To sacrifice all that we have for the greed of the developers and this council would be a sad end to what may well be the best place to live in Canada.
Double bonus points to all of the folks who filled the new council chambers to overflowing. It was wonderful to see the standing room only kind of opposition that is looking council in the eye and saying STOP! Lots of great speakers on Monday night opposing this project and this precedence. Wish I had everyone’s names but some that really stood out for me were Dennis Lypka, Hazel Stack, Garry Wolgemuth, Aroon Shaw and Scott Kristjanson.
The final decision on this proposal has been delayed until September 29. Come early to get a good seat so you can watch your council determine the future of White Rock. Will they be overcome by greed and approve this illegal project that will establish a nasty precedence that will automatically bump the allowable density levels by 20% and destroy White Rock or will they do the right thing for the Citizens of White Rock?
See you on The Beach.
See the rest of Ross’ article in the White Rock Sun by clicking here