City land returned to original owner

A stretch of property claimed for dedication by the City of White Rock nearly two decades ago will be returned to its owner

A stretch of property claimed for dedication by the City of White Rock nearly two decades ago is on track – again – to be returned to its owner.

The land, at 14847 Prospect Ave., was acquired by the city in 1993. At the time, the lot had been approved for subdivision, on the condition the applicant dedicate a 16-foot width of property on its north side to the city. The dedication enabled the applicant to comply with the city’s subdivision bylaw, which required a minimum lot frontage-to-depth ratio that could not otherwise be met.

The dedication was chosen over the more logical step of getting approval for a variance, Paul Stanton, the city’s director of planning and development services told council in an Oct. 3 report.

While the property owner sought – and the city apparently agreed – to re-acquire the land in 1998, “for reasons unknown, this never proceeded,” Stanton notes.

In recommending council grant a renewed request now – subject to the property owner paying all legal and survey costs for road closure and disposition, as was agreed in 1998 – Stanton said there is no need for the city to hold onto it any longer. The property owner plans to build his driveway access on the land in question, he added.

“The city has no use for that land dedication,” Stanton said. “We have no intention of widening the lane. It can only be used for accessing this property anyway.”

Coun. Helen Fathers questioned if returning the land could start an avalanche of similar requests.

Stanton said he didn’t know how many such situations exist in the city, but estimated there may be “a few more.”

Mayor Catherine Ferguson asked him to return with a list of any other lots in the city in which similar situations exist.

Stanton noted the Prospect Avenue site’s steep topography makes it more of a liability to the city than an asset.

The recommendation to return the land to the property owner received first, second and third reading. Council is to consider final reading and adoption of the road-closure bylaw needed to facilitate the land transfer at its next meeting, Oct. 24.

 

 

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