Twelve-storey project 'not a good fit' for White Rock
A 12-storey residential complex proposed for White Rock’s Vidal Street is not a good fit for the area, the city’s land-use committee heard Monday.
And while three of seven committee members agreed with the take, the project will proceed to council.
The committee – comprised of council members – voted 4-3 in favour of recommending council give first and second reading to an Official Community Plan amendment, a zoning amendment bylaw and a land-use contract discharge bylaw that would facilitate the development of 12 townhouse units and 97 apartments at 1467-1519 Vidal St.
Staff recommended rejecting the project based on concerns with the proposed heights and densities for the area, the loss of mature trees that would result, the potential for traffic increase and the necessary relocation of a dedicated, city-owned pathway.
“There’s a number of planning issues that we’ve identified,” Paul Stanton, the city’s director of planning and development services, said. “There is a concern that it’s contrary to the OCP.”
In explaining his motion to move the project forward, Coun. Larry Robinson cited statistics in Metro Vancouver’s growth strategy that indicate an additional 575,000 more housing units will be needed in the region by 2041.
White Rock’s population is projected to grow to 27,000 by that time, and building “three-storey, pricey townhouses” is “not helpful,” he said.
Coun. Louise Hutchinson agreed such projects are needed moving forward, and that the days of three-storey developments in White Rock “are numbered.”
In opposing the motion, Couns. Al Campbell and Helen Fathers and Mayor Wayne Baldwin described the project as premature and out of place for the Everall Neighbourhood Area, for which policies call for the retention of as many mature trees as possible.
Baldwin said while he liked the developer’s reputation and the look of the project, it is a plan more suited for “five, 10 years down the road, maybe 20.”
Fathers cited community response received at a public information meeting on the plans in explaining her no vote. Sixty-seven per cent of respondents did not think it suited the neighbourhood, she said.
If the recommendations receive first and second reading at council, the proposal will proceed to public hearing.