White Rock residents speak at a March public hearing on Bylaw 2000.

White Rock bylaw postponed ‘to remove angst’

Building height a complex issue, says White Rock mayor.

A “misunderstanding” of bylaw amendments guiding development on White Rock’s West Beach led council to defer a vote on the proposed changes.

Following a public hearing last week in which six people spoke against the proposed amendments to Bylaw 2000, council voted unanimously to hold off on making a final decision until their next regular meeting, set for July 15.

“The language that was in the bylaw was somewhat complex, and it may have been difficult to understand,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin said Thursday, in explaining his suggestion to wait. “Rather than ram it through and have a bunch of unhappy people, I thought why don’t we just defer it and give (director of development services Paul Stanton) a chance to talk to them and explain the situation.

“Hopefully, that will take away the angst that was obviously there.”

Bylaw 2000 is omnibus legislation that was drafted to replace Bylaw 1591 and reflect changes to the city’s Official Community Plan. It was adopted in April, with council directing staff to return with suggestions for changes to the West Beach zoning (CR-3) and for revisions to regulations guiding the operation of vacation rentals.

The latter – which suggest imposing a limit on the number of sleeping units and the number of adult guests operators can have – were not contested at the June 24 public hearing.

For the CR-3 zoning, staff had suggested changes that limit heights for lots where another building already fronts Marine Drive to no more than 3.2 metres higher than the first or lowest building.

Residents had asked the city to base the measurement on existing grade – a move staff warned could lead developers to level their sites at a higher grade to create a higher starting point.

Those who spoke last week expressed frustration at the city’s resistance to the move.

“Why is there such a reluctance to consider this area differently?” said Simon Bergen. “Getting a curb or existing grade is not rocket science. West Vancouver does it.”

Bergen’s wife, Sonya, suggested the issue could be addressed by simply requiring development applications to include a survey that specifies the information.

“A curb is a curb is a curb,” she said.

Baldwin said residents’ concerns stem from the controversy a previous council had with a development proposed by Bob and Jacqueline Yearsley, who successfully took the city to court after they were refused a permit for a six-storey building on Victoria Avenue, even though they had followed the zoning rules. (The 23-unit building is currently under construction.)

Fears cited last week included loss of views and property values, impact to traffic and erosion of the waterfront’s overall character.

Baldwin said the concerns were exacerbated earlier this year, after a development application submitted by owners of the Ocean Beach Hotel included a request for “a substantial variation on the height.”

Noting it’s important to realize approval of height variance applications is not a given, Baldwin said it is not realistic to demand that heights be capped to no taller than what is already there.

“The zoning bylaw allows for people to build within the definition of height within the zoning bylaw, so that would be like saying if there was a…one-storey bungalow… it should never be allowed to go to 25 feet. You just can’t do that.”

Just Posted

Hands Against Racism takes over Surrey City Hall

Event included music, dance; two people received awards

Surrey couple visits the Philippines each year to give back to wife’s former village

Nissa and Bob Clarkson give toys to children, provide medical-dental missions

Upbeat White Rock concert blends ecology, history

The Wilds and Tiller’s Folly raise ‘Voices for the Salish Sea’

South Surrey mother guilty of second-degree murder in death of daughter

Lisa Batstone ‘took seven decades of Teagan’s life’

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

VIDEO: Vancouver fall to Seattle in Game 2 of the playoffs

Thunderbirds topple the Giants 4-1 in Langley, evening the Western Conference series one game each

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Vancouver-bound transit bus involved in fatal crash near Seattle

One man was killed and a woman injured in crash with bus purchased by TransLink

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Most Read

l -->