A White Rock homeowner is demanding financial redress from the city, claiming his ocean view has been ruined by development that he was assured 20 years ago would “never happen again.”
“They do owe me compensation, and plenty of it,” Richard Main said. “It’s decimated our view.”
Main, who built a home on Victoria Avenue 25 years ago, was to appear as a delegation on the matter at White Rock council Monday, after Peace Arch News deadline.
His concern relates to a development taking shape at 14955 Victoria Ave., where Main said owners are gaining from “a big loophole” in the city’s zoning bylaws that he said he warned officials about years ago.
In 2009, Bob and Jacqueline Yearsley won a B.C. Supreme Court case against the city, after officials denied them – for reasons ruled unspecified – a development permit sought to build a six-storey structure. The application had met all existing Official Community Plan guidelines and zoning bylaws.
While council closed the loophole six months after the court ruling, by way of a zoning amendment that all but limited heights in the area to 11.3 metres, Main said he identified it to the city long before – and nothing was done.
“I told White Rock a long time ago that is the stupidest thing I ever heard of,” he said, referring to a system that calculated the “average natural grade” of a building from the mid-point of the walls on all four sides of the proposed building. The method gave steeply sloping properties a height boost.
Main, a Burnaby resident who plans to retire to 14967 Victoria Ave., said he raised the issue after hearing that the Yearsleys planned to make use of the loophole – a move he doesn’t hold against them.
Main said he complained to the city over height regulations in the early ’90s – when residents opposed the height of The Boathouse – and was promised “it will never happen again.”
Mayor Wayne Baldwin – then-city manager – said Monday he cannot comment on the matter.
Main said an appraisal comparing his home’s value before and after the view loss would determine what he is owed.
“My view went from 180 degrees down to 60,” he said.
“I think they owe me.”