This Finaly Street development

White Rock bans coach houses for now

Councillor, mayor critical of Finlay Street development approved in 2011

The City of White Rock has placed a moratorium on issuing building permits for coach houses, pending a review of the zoning bylaw that allows them.

The step, taken Monday at city hall, arose during discussion of a motion by Coun. Al Campbell to prevent any more of the accessory structures from being built in the city.

Coun. Louise Hutchinson said while she is generally not in favour of coach houses, she couldn’t support an outright ban without first hearing from staff.

“They do have a place in many municipalities. They work very well in Vancouver and Burnaby,” Hutchinson said.

“I think it would be very remiss of council to make this motion in the absence of any staff input. We have to be really sure that they are not going to work in any other place.”

Campbell announced his motion at the July 28 council meeting, describing the option to build coach houses as “a loophole we have to close.”

They are a selling feature; an open invitation for additional suites, contributing to parking and overcrowding, he said.

Monday, Campbell reiterated his belief that “there is no place for coach houses in our city,” and he took umbrage with Hutchinson’s suggestion for a staff review.

“I couldn’t disagree with you more,” said Campbell. “I don’t need staff to waste their time telling me this won’t work.”

While Campbell said he supported a zoning amendment in 2011 that cleared the way for a Finlay Street development that includes coach houses, he regrets the decision.

“It was sold to us that these were great additions,” he said. “Future development to the east of that is going to suffer because of that call.”

Coun. Helen Fathers cast the sole opposing vote regarding rezoning the Finlay lots. She said Monday that an experience posing as a prospective buyer only strengthened her resolve. She said she was told not to worry – that a basement suite could also be put in after the city had given the project the green light.

“I heard it straight from the horse’s mouth,” she said.

Asked what the city’s options were, director of development services Karen Cooper said council could place a moratorium on the building permits and go through the process of amending the zoning bylaw; determine what lots would support coach houses; or establish criteria to improve coach-house developments.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin described Campbell’s motion as “probably the right course of action.”

“I know what he’s getting at. I’ve seen that mess on Finlay, I don’t like it,” he said.

At the same time, he said there are instances where it may be “probably necessary” to allow coach houses; for example, on large estate lots. It would “not serve us well” to impose a blanket prohibition, he said.

Baldwin said a moratorium would allow time for due consideration of the issue.


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

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Residents showcased as ‘companion’ sculpture unveiled

Amica White Rock welcomes bronze guardian, celebrates resident talent

Homemade explosives detonated in South Surrey

Police asking public for help identifying those responsible

Surrey students paint mural, paying homage to First Nations, at SkyTrain station

Artwork to showcase ‘positivity and racial inclusivity in the city’

White Rock highrise on hold after workers exhibit ‘severe’ overexposure symptoms

WorkSafeBC issued stop-work order at 1588 Johnston Rd. site on July 24

More than 50,000 checks: Surrey COVID-19 compliance, enforcement team’s role has ‘evolved’

Joint bylaw, RCMP team created to help with coronavirus education, support

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

PHOTOS/VIDEO: Wings and Wheels set for weekend lift-off in Abbotsford

Fundraiser to raise money for Crystal Gala Foundation and the fight against breast cancer

Undercover video shows alleged animal abuse at Fraser Valley egg farm

One employee wearing logo of Chilliwack chicken-catching company already facing abuse charges

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

Most Read