Do not Let White Rock City Hall Ignore the OCP and Destroy our City By the Sea and Your Home’s Resale Value!

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
Karen and Ross
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

A Letter to the Editor regarding Excessive Development in White Rock

White Rock Excessive Development Upsets Residents
Dear Editor:
Re: August 5th Stories on White Rock Residents Frustrated by City Hall

I read with interest, concern and sympathy about the frustration experienced by White Rock residents over City Hall’s coy mishandling of the “Waves on Marine” development project (the Mayor personally signed off on permits to allow over height construction, see the Peace Arch News article here) and the impending development project for 1575/1577 Nichol Road. The official indifference and lack of meaningful action shown by the City to the legitimate concerns of neighboring residents is simply shameful.

But sadly, this is not a new thing. Led as they are by the developers’ champion, Mayor Baldwin, the majority pro-development “at any cost” clique currently in command of City Council have left a record that shows a clear and unmistakeable pattern. As Mayor Baldwin has said, so long as he is in control, even greater density is coming to White Rock “whether people want it or not.”

Whether it is the Bishop Road Development, the White Rock Muffler Shop Development, the Mariner’s Reach Development, the Evergreen Baptist Development or a multitude of other smaller development projects, in all cases, the City has placed developer interests paramount above Public interests and concerns of neighbouring residents. What do you think will happen when the EPCOR Oxford Land Development Project resurfaces if all of the current developer clique on Council get re-elected in November?

Come the November 15th Civic Election, use your vote to remind the politicians that the purpose of the City is to provide for the good government of our community for community benefit, not to act as an apologist and enabler for the developer interest group.

Dennis Lypka
White rock, B.C.

EPCOR Towers – aka Greedy EPCOR & Developer Insanity!

EPCOR Towers- aka Greedy EPCOR & Developer Insanity!
– by Ross Buchanan. Read the entire article in the White Rock Sun

Here is one for the “only in White Rock” list.

EPCOR the $2 Billion a year utility owned by the City of Edmonton (and the owner of the White Rock water system) has agreed to a deal whereby if their property on Oxford Hill can be rezoned to accommodate two commercial condo towers they will be willing to sell their property. The two towers (21 and 24 storeys) would be constructed on the western portion of the EPCOR land. If approved the rezoning would obviously be a huge cash windfall for EPCOR.

Personally I can’t imagine how any of the White Rock councillors would even consider or vote on this proposal as every one of them is in a position of ethical conflict given that the city is currently in negotiations to acquire EPCOR’s water utility operations in White Rock. In my opinion that fact alone creates an ethical conflict of interest. How can you be negotiating to acquire a company and at the same time consider a very significant rezoning application from the same company that will result in EPCOR reaping windfall profits? Could this be some kind of a side deal that greases the wheels of the negotiations?

Read the rest of this story in the White Rock Sun:
White Rock Sun - Letters withRoss Buchanan jpg

Public Information Meeting for the proposed development of two 21 and 24 story high rise towers, high density development at 1454 Oxford Street (EPCOR Land) Wednesday, April 9th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the United Church at 15385 Semiahmoo Avenue in White Rock. Be there!