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Court asked to topple White Rock seniors project

View from a top-floor Belaire suite of the Evergreen Baptist lot where an eight-storey complex care facility is to be built.  - File
View from a top-floor Belaire suite of the Evergreen Baptist lot where an eight-storey complex care facility is to be built.
— image credit: File

Residents of a White Rock condo complex unhappy with council’s recent go-ahead for an eight-storey care facility immediately south of their building are asking the courts to quash the bylaw amendment that cleared the way.

In a petition filed March 20 in B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster, Belaire strata president Dennis Andrew Lypka and neighbour George William Holmes also ask for costs, and for a declaration that the developer of the 199-bed project at 1550 Oxford St. – Evergreen Baptist Care Society – be required to apply for a major development permit. Belaire residents questioned the lack of such a permit from the get-go.

According to the petition, council violated the city’s Official Community Plan and its procedures bylaw in not requiring the major development permit.

“It is not within the jurisdiction of council to enact a bylaw which is inconsistent with the relevant official community plan,” the petition states.

The Evergreen project – located immediately north of a site being eyed for two residential highrises – has been the subject of much angst since it was announced by Fraser Health last October. Evergreen’s executive director Stephen Bennet confirmed in February that it had been the subject of confidential discussions for about six months prior.

Following a public hearing that stretched over two evenings, council voted 4-2 on Feb. 24 to give third and final readings to zoning amendment bylaw No. 2045.

Couns. Helen Fathers and Al Campbell voted against the amendment, with Campbell stating he had concerns with the process that was followed. He agreed with opponents that the development will be detrimental to its neighbours.

City manager Dan Bottrill said Monday he is unable to comment on the petition, given it is a legal matter. He did say it didn’t come as a surprise, and that the city would be filing its response this week.

 

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