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No more coach houses in White Rock, says councillor

A White Rock councillor is seeking to close the door on ‘coach house’ development in the city.

Coun. Al Campbell’s notice of motion asks that “accessory coach houses” not be permitted in any zone, and that they be removed from the city zoning bylaw.

Campbell told Peace Arch News that experience in the city and in other municipalities has shown that accessory coach houses are an open invitation for additional suites, contributing to parking and overcrowding.

There are examples, he said, that are “absolutely appalling – they take up the whole back yard.”

“It’s a loophole we have to close,” he said after the July 28 council meeting.

The notice of motion followed a zoning bylaw earlier in the evening in which council approval hinged on an amendment that precluded the possibility of coach houses on the property.

The amendment, for a property at 14139 Blackburn Ave., permitted dividing a single-family lot into two lots slightly narrower than the minimum allowed.

Both Campbell and Coun. Helen Fathers expressed concerns that the rezoning had the potential of increasing density and leading to the destruction of trees.

But Mayor Wayne Baldwin agreed with a report from planning and development services director Karen Cooper that having two lots would “allow two homes consistent with the neighbourhood.”

Campbell’s motion is expected to be considered at the Sept. 8 meeting.

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