The Lady Alexandra project at the current Leela Thai Restaurant site at 1310 Johnston Rd., pictured in a rendering prepared during planning, is the main property to be affected by zoning amendments for Lower Johnston Road planned by White Rock council.

Public hearings planned for building heights on Lower Johnston

Amendments to reduce heights by six storeys on busy White Rock road

The City of White Rock is to host a public hearing relating to building heights on Johnston Road at city hall Monday evening.

Starting at 7 p.m., the public will be given an opportunity to speak on a bylaw amendment to the height transition guideline for buildings on the 1300-block of Johnston Road from 10-12 storeys to four-to-six storeys.

A second public hearing is scheduled to follow, where the public will be invited to speak to changes to a bylaw for 1310 Johnston Road. The amendment is to replace the zoning of the property to allow for a six-storey commercial and residential building with a maximum floor area (FAR) ratio of 3.5. Currently, 1310 Johnston is zoned to allow a 12-storey commercial and residential building with a maximum FAR of 4.8.

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Public will be given five-minutes to speak to council or present written submissions respecting the matters.

Under existing zoning, the Lady Alexandra mixed-use luxury residential and retail building planned for 1310 Johnston Rd. (current site of the Leela Thai Restaurant and other businesses) was approved for a development permit at a height of 12 storeys, but the project does not yet have a building permit, which has allowed council’s current reexamination of the project.

Last month, investors in the Lady Alexandra project argued that the yet-to-be-approved amendments would create a financial hardship for them and essentially “kill” the project.

Paul Randhawa, who told council he represents a small group of investors who acquired the property and project from the original owner two years ago, said if council reduces the height, he and his friends will suffer “very significant losses.”

“If council takes the development down to six stories and a 3.5 FAR, the project, as currently conceived, is dead and the site will not be developed for an undetermined period of time,” Randhawa said last month.

– with files from Alex Browne

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