City of White Rock graphic                                A rendering of the five-level parkade proposed for Victoria Avenue and Vidal Street, which goes to public hearing at 5 p.m., Sept. 11, at White Rock Community Centre.

City of White Rock graphic A rendering of the five-level parkade proposed for Victoria Avenue and Vidal Street, which goes to public hearing at 5 p.m., Sept. 11, at White Rock Community Centre.

Parkade, highrises go to public hearings

Meetings Monday and Tuesday at 5 p.m. at White Rock Community Centre on contentious projects

City of White Rock has scheduled public hearings for three contentious proposals for late-afternoon meetings next week.

The hearings will seek public input on: a five-level public parkade planned on four city-owned lots at the intersection of Victoria Avenue and Vidal Street; a 14-storey mixed-use development at 1350 Johnston Rd. (current site of Deals World); and a 12-storey mixed-use development at 1310 Johnston Rd. (current site of Leela Thai restaurant and several other businesses).

The parkade hearing has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, with the hearings for the two Johnston Road developments following at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. All will be held at the White Rock Community Centre,15154 Russell Ave.

The parkade proposal – budgeted at more than $11 million – was the subject of a public demonstration at city hall July 24, with residents of nearby condos objecting that the building, which would provide a net gain of 207 parking stalls in the area, would impinge on their views and privacy, that staff reports have indicated it would not see year-round use, and that it could be a focus for loitering and crime.

White Rock CAO Dan Bottrill, however, maintained that staff have provided a business case for the structure, which he told council is designed to take increasing pressure off waterfront parking lots.

He noted it would enable “differentiated” pricing options for parking near the waterfront, promote longer visits to businesses, and might lead to redevelopment of existing waterfront parking lots as linear parks.

Initial approvals also went to the two proposals for lower Johnston Road July 24; both of which require amendments to zoning and the city’s newly revised OCP.

The 14-storey Solterra development, for the current Deals World site, would provide 97 residential units plus 9,874 square feet of commercial space. It’s a scaling down of the original application for a 20-storey, 127-unit building.

At that time, council endorsed a staff recommendation to send the application back for revision more in keeping with guidelines in the revised OCP, which calls for a 10 to 12-storey height range in the lower Johnston Road area.

The Cross project for the Leela Thai site proposes a 12-storey building providing 30 residential units and 4,645 square feet of commercial space. It was scaled-down from an earlier 14-storey, 36-unit proposal, with 6,000 sq. ft. of commercial space.

In presenting the revised project at council’s May 24 land use and planning committee meeting, director of planning and development services Carl Johannsen noted that the revision creates a two-storey stepdown from the proposed Solterra building, which “supports the new OCP objective of a downward height transition.”

Johanssen said the revision also reflects the new OCP’s general policy intent of a downward density transition from the town centre to the lower town centre.