Buena Vista Avenue resident Hollie Whitehead voices opposition to a project proposed for the corner of Oxford Street and Marine Drive

Buena Vista Avenue resident Hollie Whitehead voices opposition to a project proposed for the corner of Oxford Street and Marine Drive

Opinions voiced at Oxford Street public hearing

Comments on a project proposed for the corner of Oxford Street and Marine Drive ran the gamut at White Rock city hall Monday, when about 50 residents turned out to a public hearing to have their say.

Comments on a project proposed for the corner of Oxford Street and Marine Drive ran the gamut at White Rock city hall Monday, when about 50 residents turned out to a public hearing to have their say.

Vehemently opposed by some and strongly supported by others, Marine Terraces is proposed as a three-building residential/commercial complex on 1.14 acres between Buena Vista Avenue and Marine Drive, including the White Rock Muffler site.

To proceed, Georgia Laine Developments needs amendments made to the city’s Official Community Plan and zoning – changes many residents have maintained should not be considered. Reasons cited Monday include the impact to traffic congestion, views and an already challenging parking situation; the possibility the developer could simply decide to flip the site; the fact that residents who have asked for even minor amendments have been turned down flat; and, because rules are rules.

“Your Official Community Plan and bylaws are contracts with your residents, like me,” said Hollie Whitehead, a Buena Vista Avenue resident, suggesting council entertain proposals that require no OCP amendments. “Wasn’t that the purpose of creating a plan in the first place?”

In addition to speaking, Whitehead submitted a list of 47 others who are also opposed to the project.

Supporters told council the development is long overdue and would “establish an intelligent precedent” for future proposals. In addition, the developer has made significant changes to accommodate concerns raised, including those surrounding heights, said White Rock resident Larry Robinson.

Robinson noted the site is a liability to the city, given that it’s on a floodplain and needs remediation. Any developer taking on that liability “should be applauded,” he said.

Dan Saunders, who is part-owner of the White Rock Muffler site, said benefits to the city would include jobs, paid parking spaces and about $200,000 per year in taxes.

He noted the property was offered to the city for purchase two years ago, and could have been bought and used at that time for whatever purpose officials deemed appropriate.

“Obviously, council turned that down. As a citizen of White Rock, I think this project makes sense.”

In a written submission supporting the project, restaurant owner Nicholas Popoff said he will be forced to consider moving his operations to South Surrey if White Rock doesn’t “keep up with the times and understand that density is important to keeping business in White Rock.”

While opponents said they recognized change is inevitable, they are concerned if the city approves the amendments, it will set a precedent for future projects.

Roper Avenue resident Bryan Boyce told council there is still a lot of confusion amongst residents as to what is at stake and why the proposal appears to be moving through the process so quickly. He appealed to the politicians to take their time on a decision.

“There’s so much to be considered for such a precious piece of property,” Boyce said. “We just ask that you really take a hard, hard look at this process and get everybody onboard before you move forward.”

Some speakers criticized Georgia Laine president Robert Wilson – comments architect Tim Ankenman took exception to.

“No man that I know has done more for the Downtown Eastside than my client,” he said, citing projects in Vancouver that have benefited the less fortunate.

In response to concerns about traffic congestion, Ankenman cited a plan to have “five or six” communal cars available to residents of Marine Terraces. He agreed to work on a traffic plan with city staff, and also assured that proponents would not come back after the fact asking to build higher.

Ankenman noted he sat on the city’s advisory design panel when a project was proposed for the same site – minus the two residential lots considered in the latest proposal – about 10 years ago. It didn’t go ahead because no one thought to include the two lots and no one wanted to take on the necessary remediation, he said.

If the Georgia Laine development is approved, it means “getting this site cleaned up once and for all,” Ankenman said.

 

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

Just Posted

Surrey Council Chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $420,570 in grants for local arts, culture groups

This happened at Monday night’s council meeting, to cover 2021

In September 2018, former Vancouver Canucks player Dave Babych tees off at Northview Golf & Country Club in Surrey during the 35th annual Jake Milford Charity Invitational tournament. (File photo: Tom Zillich)
No ‘shotguns’ or banquets: Surrey golf courses pitch COVID-safe tournaments for 2021

With spring on the way, course operators book tournaments that will involve ‘tweaks and adjustments’

Investigators placed dozens of yellow evidence markers on the ground near the site of a fatal shooting in Langley City early Wednesday morning. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
UPDATE: 22-year-old man killed in targeted shooting in Langley

South Surrey vehicle fire may be linked to homicide: police

Members of the Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society picked up their new van from Mainland Ford in Surrey Wednesday (Jan. 27, 2021) after the society’s old van was stolen and damaged. (Submitted photo: Dylan Van Rooyen)
After thrift store van stolen and damaged, Surrey dealership helps out firefighters’ charitable society

The Community Thrift Store van was stolen in South Surrey in December

Surrey-raised actor Michael Coleman in some of the roles he’s played since the mid-1990s. (submitted photo)
Chat with Robin Williams helped send Surrey’s Coleman into world of acting

‘For me, it was a game-changer,’ says co-founder of Story Institute acting school

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

BC Place Stadium in a photo posted to cisc-icca.ca.
Roof of BC Place a stage for performers during online music festival

‘This will be the first time any artists have performed from the 204-foot iconic Vancouver rooftop’

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Driver crashes vehicle twice in one day near Princeton

Abbotsford woman, 29, wasn’t injured in either incident

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

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Most Read