Tempers flare at White Rock development meeting

Proposed seven-storey building on Thrift Avenue met with opposition.

Residents look at plans for a seven-storey residential development proposed for Thrift Avenue.

It didn’t take long for tempers to flare Wednesday at a public-information meeting in White Rock for a proposed seven-storey development.

Within minutes of the meeting getting underway at Centennial Arena, a heated argument broke out between an angry resident and the architect of the project – slated for 14937 Thrift Ave. – over the building’s non-compliance with the city’s Official Community Plan, now under review.

Shortly after, architect Gerry Blonski attempted to address the crowd of more than 40, highlighting White Rock’s desirability as a place to live, before being drowned out.

“A lot of people want to retire here, and the reason why we’re proposing this here is because there is a demand for it,” Blonski said, before being interrupted by several residents.

“Stick to the plan, you’re breaking the official plan here,” one man said.

“Why are we even here tonight entertaining seven storeys in an apartment OCP of three to four?” resident Hazel Stack asked.

As the crowd –  which included Couns. Helen Fathers and David Chesney – began to clear, Martin Street resident Lynn Kendel told Peace Arch News he felt bad for Blonski, who “had no right or authority to be answering these questions.”

Kendel said his main concern is the lack of infrastructure around the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

“Anybody who has driven down 152 Street between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. can tell you that we have reached and exceeded our infrastructure,” Kendel said.

This is the third project to be proposed for the quarter-acre lot at Thrift Avenue and Vidal Street.

In 2013, proponents applied for rezoning to allow for a seven-unit townhouse project with roof decks; the city rejected the application, requesting the applicant reduce the height and number of units to no more than five. In 2014, the proponents came back with a six-unit concrete apartment building, however later deferred the application after residents strongly opposed the project.

The current proposal is for 11 units in a seven-storey building, including two levels of underground parking.

Kanwar Dhamrait, of Surrey-based Oveido Development, told PAN Thursday morning that he was not in attendance at Wednesday’s meeting, nor had he received feedback.

He said he’s aware of opposition to development in White Rock, but that this particular proposal is only one of several in the area.

Dhamrait noted his project is only seven storeys, compared to the 12-storey Beverley under construction on Vidal Street.

“We just proposed it and let’s see how it goes,” he said. “Nothing is concrete yet.”

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

Just Posted

Trade to hometown team a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Surrey Eagles defenceman

Kieran O’Hearn gets to play in front of family, who live just minutes from South Surrey Arena

White Rock solid waste open house scheduled

Event to take place next month

Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Clayton Heights’ Aaron Grim says repurposed racer ‘easy to clean and easy to collect the eggs’

U-Haul truck hits hydro pole, causes power outage in Surrey

Vehicle driving westbound on Fraser Highway

Two-vehicle crash leads to argument in South Surrey

Police investigating after one driver left the scene

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Vancouver police investigate after man found dead in vehicle

Man has not been identified and no one has been arrested

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

Most Read

l -->