White Rock council has approved a development permit for a 23-storey

White Rock council has approved a development permit for a 23-storey

White Rock approves 23-storey highrise

Town-centre site already zoned for tower, mayor notes

The City of White Rock has approved a development permit for a 23-storey, 202-unit seniors independent living facility plus a two-storey commercial and amenity building in the town-centre area.

The approval came at  Monday’s council meeting (Nov. 7), following a public hearing in which supporters emphasized the facility’s potential role in upgrading and revitalizing the upper Johnston Road corridor, while negative comments seemed focused on opposition to any increase of highrises and condominiums in the town centre.

But, as speakers were reminded by staff members and Mayor Wayne Baldwin, the hearing did not pertain to matters of height and density – the town centre is already pre-zoned for development up to 265 feet (25 storeys) in height – but whether the building fit in with the “form and character” of the area.

Proponents for PARC Retirement Living were also at pains to explain that the development – at 1554/64 Johnston Rd. and 1563/65 George St. – would not  be selling condos but, rather, provide  a retirement community of rental units around a centralized hub of services including food and entertainment and would be built to LEED Gold environmental standards.

Parking was also an issue raised by speakers, although the developers have increased the provided spaces from 100 to 120.

“At a 0.55 ratio per unit, that’s higher than the standard (for the city),” said PARC vice-president Russell Hobbs.

While some residents expressed concern about the fate of trees on Johnston Road, acting director of planning and development services Kurt Alberts said that while the project will contribute to streetscape improvements, the city has yet to determine what “form and shape” they will take.

South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce executive director Cliff Annable described himself as a “big-time supporter” of the project.

“I was blown away with how beautiful it is,” he said.

White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen expressed “wholehearted support.”

Steven Christie was among those who voiced opposition to more highrises.

“By building a multitude of towers we are creating a shadow of darkness (in the city),” he said.

Bill Buchanan said his biggest concern was related to parking.

“There’s no consideration (given) to visitors coming to see the more than 200 residents and the traffic congestion that could occur. How is this going to impact traffic flow and parking in the area?”

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

Just Posted

Eternity Medical Equipment’s ECAN95 masks have received Health Canada approval and CSA certification. (Eternity Medical Equipment photo)
South Surrey N-95 equivalent manufacturer launches mask recycling program

Eternity Medical Equipment partners with Ontario-based LifeCycle Revive

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Most Read