News

White Rock passes West Beach building regulations

  - File photo
— image credit: File photo

Bylaw amendments guiding development on White Rock’s West Beach are set.

Council voted 5-2 last week in favour of amendments proposed for the new CR-3 zone, finalizing limits to allowed heights and densities in an area estimated to affect 15 to 20 properties.

The zone is part of Bylaw 2000, omnibus legislation that was adopted in April. At that time, council directed staff to come back with revisions to regulations proposed for vacation rentals and buildings on West Beach – two areas that residents and business owners had expressed concern with.

But while suggested changes to the vacation-rental rules were met with approval from those affected, concern with the CR-3 zone remains.

“Why would you vote for something where there was nobody in favour of it?” resident Malik Dillon asked council Monday.

Under the new rules, the height of a principal building in the zone is limited to 11.3 metres (37.1 feet), measured from either the natural grade at the mid-point of the building on the lowest side of the property, or not more than .5 m (1.64 ft) above the average height at the top of the curb for the lowest street frontage, whichever is less.

Any other buildings proposed for the same property can be no more than 3.2 m (10.5 ft.) higher than the first or lowest building, where the natural grade for those other buildings is greater than 3.2 m than the first or lowest building.

Residents had asked the city to base the measurement on existing grade – a move staff warned could lead developers to level their sites at a higher grade to create a higher starting point.

Couns. Helen Fathers and Al Campbell voted against final reading of the amendments, with Campbell noting the CR-3 zone “came about as really a disgraceful situation” in which a developer found “another loophole.”

Zoning changes previous to the CR-3 came about after residents Bob and Jacqueline Yearsley successfully took the city to court after they were refused a development permit for a six-storey building on Victoria Avenue. Concerns were heightened recently by a proposal for the Ocean Beach Hotel site.

Coun. Louise Hutchinson suggested the CR-3 zone as described will never actually be used; that developers will seek and receive variances, and that proposals for second buildings are unlikely.

“We know we’ll never build anything in the CR-3 zone,” she said.

Hutchinson also criticized the delay as unnecessarily putting vacation-rental operators on hold.

In supporting the amendments, Coun. Larry Robinson cited the ongoing focus on the Ocean Beach application. That application has been withdrawn, and the site leased, yet concerns continue to reference the proposal – something Robinson said is “a huge disservice” to property owners.

“The best thing we can do is come up with some type of universal zoning for this extremely difficult area,” he said. “Short of having a zone every two blocks, this is the best possibility. This is the best job we can do.”

Mayor Wayne Baldwin noted that only one property in the zone has the possibility of accommodating two buildings. The new regulations provide guidelines on height limits and densities, and “that’s not a bad thing.”

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

NDP blasts lottery corporation spending
 
Rent controls here to stay, province says
 
Tree falls on Ocean Park house during windstorm
Collision leaves man in critical condition
 
LETTERS: Our cities need to protect trees
 
Girl airlifted from Sunnyside as a precaution
Search for answers in South Surrey homicides continues
 
B.C. to announce Peace River dam decision
 
Possible link between bank robberies

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.