News

Roper Avenue townhouse project put on hold

A history of drainage problems in the area of a proposed townhouse complex were cited at Monday’s public hearing. - File photo
A history of drainage problems in the area of a proposed townhouse complex were cited at Monday’s public hearing.
— image credit: File photo

Developers behind a proposed seven-unit townhouse project on Roper Avenue in White Rock have put their plans on hold.

Paul Stanton, the city’s director of planning and development services, confirmed Monday that the applicants have asked for a deferral “while they reconsider their proposals and lower the building heights.”

Height was a key issue among residents who spoke against the project proposed for 15374 and 15382 Roper Ave. – which the applicants had wanted to build four feet higher than existing zoning allows, to enable “flex rooms” and rooftop decks – during a July 16 public hearing. Council had been expected to consider the amendments Monday night, but the matter was pulled from the agenda following the deferral request.

At the public hearing, a history of drainage issues with one of the two lots in question was also named as a concern. Stanton explained at an earlier meeting that that problem was linked to an older storm sewer connection, and the lack of a backwash valve. Rectifying that issue is a condition of a development permit for the site, he said.

Concerns with the water issue were raised anew late last week, after water appeared during demolition and excavation efforts.

While some residents suggested it was a further sign of the problem, Stanton said it was the result of heavy rain Friday morning.

The land owners have since filled and leveled the site as required, he said.

Coun. Al Campbell, who checked out the site Friday with Coun. Larry Robinson, described the decision to defer the project as “a very smart move.”

He suggested a “way more sensible” plan would also implement the lot at the corner of Best Street and Roper Avenue, which Robinson noted would enable the project to hook up to the higher-capacity Best Street storm system.

“Every development on that street has encountered problems with the water,” Campbell said.

Owners of that “orphan” lot reportedly live out of the country and have not responded to interests in purchasing the property.

No date has been set for the project to come back to council, but residents who neighbour the properties in question say they are hopeful that the water issue will be fixed before anything more is approved.

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