White Rock council has asked staff to review lot coverage for single-family homes in the RS1 zone, following a change to setback minimums discovered in an omnibus bylaw.
The motion, raised by Coun. Helen Fathers at the Dec. 15 council meeting, calls for a change to rear-yard setbacks on corner lots to 7.5 metres from 3.8 m. The smaller minimum has led to the construction of what Fathers described as “monster houses.”
The change, she noted, was made after council passed Bylaw 2000 – an omnibus legislation that was drafted to replace Bylaw 1591 – in the spring of 2013.
“I think we made a bit of an error in doing that,” Fathers said. “It came forward as an omnibus bylaw and I believe what we heard during the election was really, really large houses (are not wanted).
“What we’ve essentially done is given away, on the corner lots, 120 feet times 12.5 feet times three levels, and I don’t think that is really the best thing for this community.”
Coun. Bill Lawrence agreed, noting that the lack of setbacks with homes on the city’s hillside has adverse effects on neighbours.
“I don’t think the intent of the omnibus bylaw was to change the setback,” he said, noting that it should be changed back to the original 7.5 m.
White Rock’s director of planning and development, Karen Cooper, is to return to council in February with a report.