‘Creative’ bylaw will allow triplex housing

When it comes to residential building, the City of White Rock may soon have a new zone.

After unanimously endorsing a zoning amendment last week that would enable creation of an RT-2 Three Unit Family Residential Zone, councillors Monday gave first and second reading to the bylaw.

If adopted, the amendment will smooth the way for development of triplexes in the city.

It was suggested in light of an application to build a triplex at 14968 Beachview Ave. The city currently does not have any zoning specific to triplexes.

“We looked up what our options are because we had to get creative,” Paul Stanton, the city’s director of planning and development services, told land use and planning committee members Jan. 17. “It is essentially a new zone.”

The Beachview property is currently zoned for residential developments of up to two units. The triplex application has “at least” a year’s worth of history, Stanton said.

According to a staff report, the suggested new zone would be consistent with the Official Community Plan provision for ‘other low-density detached housing forms.’

Its intent is to accommodate three-unit residential structures on lots 743 sq.-m or greater. Lot coverage could not exceed 45 per cent; and height could be no greater than 7.7 m.

About 25 people attended a public information meeting Jan. 6. According to the report, attendees, in general, were pleased the proposal included extra on-site parking. Several concerns were expressed.

One written submission questions why people who move into an area knowing its restrictions should be accommodated when they seek change.

“Would it not be prudent of them to be in an area that suits their needs, instead of changing ours,” writes Erica Culin.

Coun. Lynne Sinclair asked Stanton if the applicants could be expected to ask for variances after the fact if the zoning change goes forward. She supported the application because it made good use of the land and “wasn’t asking for any variances,” she said.

Stanton said further variances would not be allowed. A public hearing on the bylaw is to take place Feb. 7.