In introducing a motion for a moratorium on multiple residence applications – later withdrawn – Coun.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.

Just Posted

Call for better security follows fuel thefts at South Surrey Park & Ride

White Rock man says someone used a drill to drain his fuel tank Wednesday

‘Stuff the Sleigh’ event aims to collect 5,000 Christmas toys for Surrey children

The Surrey Central Lions Club event will support the Surrey Christmas Bureau

Surrey kidnapping suspect still at large

Meaz Nour-Eldin is wanted in a 15-month-old Surrey kidnapping and assault case

Surrey RCMP seeking help to find man missing since Nov. 7

Hyung ‘John’ Lee was last seen in the 13300-block of Old Yale Road

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Paul Bissonnette joins Vancouver Warriors after tweeting he could walk on to an NLL club

Bissonnette will join the Warriors for their final week of training camp at Rogers Arena

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Body found after SUV found fully engulfed in flames in Abbotsford field

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team have been called in

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read

l -->