Elegant public hearing deferred

Meeting put back to at least the end of November due to concerns public consultation on the project had not been 'sufficiently documented'

Only a few hours before it was scheduled to take place, the public hearing for a contentious White Rock development proposal was deferred – “until further notice.”

The hearing, on bylaws for the twin residential-tower Elegant development at 1454 Oxford St. – in the Everall neighbourhood of the city’s west side – was to have started at 5:30 p.m. Monday (Oct. 17) at White Rock Community Centre.

Instead, it has been put on hold at least until the end of November, following legal advice received by the city.

The hearing has already been postponed once, along with the hearing for the equally contentious Forge Properties highrise development proposal in the same neighbourhood, previously deferred due to a scheduling conflict with the proponents and yet to be rescheduled.

A handful of residents and other interested parties who arrived at the centre for the Elegant hearing were greeted by printed notices and apologies from city staff members, including city clerk Tracey Arthur, planning manager Carl Isaak and Kurt Alberts, acting director of planning and development services.

But it appeared that many other potential participants had already learned of the deferment online through website postings – including at www.peacearchnews.com – or emailed exchanges.

A notice posted on the city website Monday afternoon apologized “for the inconvenience,” but offered no explanation for the deferment.

However, city administrator Dan Bottrill told Peace Arch News late Monday afternoon that he had “made the difficult decision” to defer the meeting that morning after receiving some legal advice that – under Section 475 of the Local Government Act – public consultation on the project had not been “sufficiently documented.”

“We had supplied all the paperwork,” he said, “but (I decided) we could do more to improve it.

“The real issue is that we really wanted the public hearing to stick to the merits of the application,” he added, rather than being “distracted by procedural issues.”

Bottrill would not elaborate on what could have been improved in the documentation, but said that a corporate report on the process will be submitted to council at a Nov. 7 meeting.

He said it is likely the public hearing will be rescheduled “towards the end of November.”

City communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi said members of the public who had emailed correspondence on the hearing had been emailed back to inform them of the deferment.

Bottrill noted that notices had also been posted on the doors of city hall.

The hearings would have concerned a change in official community plan designation from multi-unit residential – low density to multi-unit residential – high density, rezoning from civic/institutional use to comprehensive development zone, and a phased development agreement to secure a community amenity contribution and regulate construction.

Opponents of the proposal, for two buildings, 24 and 21 storeys high – providing a total of 121 residential units – argue that it is out of keeping with the character of the neighbourhood, that it will tax existing infrastructure, that it poses an environmental risk to the White Rock aquifer and is too close to existing city water wells on Oxford Street.

Questions have also been raised by a number of residents about a contingency of rezoning of the property being a condition of sale of some of the land (formerly property of the Epcor water utility) to Elegant, and also about contributions the developer made to campaigns of some city council members in the 2014 municipal election.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man convicted of assault, unlawfully confining woman pregnant with his child loses court appeal

Victim tells court he drove her to Guildford parking lot after he’d ‘grabbed’ her neck and she fainted

Peter and Stephanie Chung. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey philanthropists presenting $285K in scholarships on Saturday

Drs. Peter and Stephanie Chung over the past nine years have awarded more than 500 students, in memory of their son Joseph

Brandon Nathan Teixeira, charged in connection with a fatal 2017 shooting in South Surrey, is to return to court Feb. 2, 2021. (Canadian Press/File photo)
Pre-trial conference set for accused in 2017 South Surrey killing

Brandon Nathan Teixeira set to return to Vancouver court Feb. 2

Construction on the main foyer at the soon-to-be opened Clayton Community Centre. (Photo courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design)
Clayton Community Centre opening delayed again

City says Provincial Health Order reason for latest delay

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

The top part of the fossil burrow, seen from the side, with feathery lines from the disturbance of the soil – thought to be caused by the worm pulling prey into the burrow. (Paleoenvironntal Sediment Laboratory/National Taiwan University)
PHOTOS: SFU researchers find evidence of ‘giant’ predatory worms on ocean floor

Fossils found the prove the existence of an ancient Taiwanese worm as long as two metres

RCMP officers provide policing for 63 B.C. municipalities under a provincial formula based on population. (Black Press file photo)
B.C. communities warned of upcoming RCMP unionization costs

Starting salaries for city police officers are 30% higher

B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Most Read