In introducing a motion for a moratorium on multiple residence applications – later withdrawn – Coun. David Chesney said he could not ‘sit by idly and watch further runaway development’ in White Rock. File photo

Proposed moratorium on White Rock highrises called ‘illegal’

Coun David Chesney withdraws motion after advice from city manager

An attempt by White Rock Coun. David Chesney to establish a formal moratorium on highrise development until after the fall civic election was shot down at Monday’s council meeting.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin asked chief administrative officer Dan Bottrill whether such a move by council would be “ultra vires.”

The motion that is being proposed…would be ultra vires,” Bottrill confirmed. “In layman’s terms, it’s illegal, it’s outside of the law. Any property owner that is compliant with the zoning bylaw, the OCP, that wishes to bring a development application is certainly entitled to do so. Any property owner that wants to come forward to the city and submit a building permit would be able to do so. In fact, if we didn’t process building permits it would lead to some litigation, liability and compensation.”

“In other words, Coun. Chesney’s motion would have council conduct illegal action,” Baldwin said, asking, “do you still want to make your motion?”

Chesney said he would withdraw it.

“I’m surprised that this was not alerted to me when I filed the motion,” he said. “And staff was well aware that this was here. To sit and wait until we finally arrive at this point in time, I have a hard time understanding that. But I will withdraw the motion – and let the building begin.”

Chesney’s motion had called on council to “endorse a moratorium on all development and building permits pertaining to all and any multiple-residence applications until after the upcoming civic election… Oct. 20.”

Introducing the motion, he said he could not “sit by idly and watch further runaway development.”

“This council over the past 3½ years has approved no less than 14 highrises in our small community. Of those 14 towers, three of them fit the OCP,” he said. “All the rest required amendments to the OCP… I’m urging council to step back, take a breath, let the remainder of this term go through.

Our city has completely exploded, as we well know, anybody who tries to traverse anywhere in our city. To be piling on more… is absolutely not in the best interest of residents or the community.”

“The biggest project going on was approved 12 years ago,” Baldwin said, after Chesney withdrew the motion. “The second biggest, if you discount PARC, was approved about 10 years ago. I don’t think a couple of building permits is going to make that much difference in the overall scheme of things.”

Following the meeting, former Surrey-Cloverdale MLA Ken Jones – a former member of White Rock council – told Peace Arch News he doubted a moratorium, or some city measure to slow the approval process, is actually illegal.

“We had a moratorium on such buildings when I was on council,” he recalled.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

UPDATE: Pedestrian dies after being hit by bus in uptown White Rock

Collision occurred July 3 at North Bluff Road and Johnston Road

PHOTOS: South Surrey tractor project evokes ‘$1-million smile,’ helps connect neighbours

Retired Surrey firefighter Ron Henze began project for friend’s dad to fill time during pandemic

Intent of killing at centre of Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Allison Beames is anticipated to return with her decision in August

Surrey man facing charges related to child pornography

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

COVID-19: Update on the pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

JULY 3: Pandemic project evokes smiles, connects neighbours

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Greater Vancouver home sales start to tick up, with prices holding steady

Residential sales last month reached 2,443, a 64.5 per cent jump from May

Langley Lodge’s deadly outbreak declared over

Fraser Health and long-term care home administrator confirm Friday declaration

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

Search continues for person seen floating in Coquihalla River in Hope

Rescuers halted the search Thursday night as darkness fell

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

Most Read

l -->