Milt James addresses White Rock council during a Sept. 9 public hearing regarding a proposal for two lots he owns on North Bluff Road.

White Rock council wants assurances coach houses are off table

North Bluff property owner asks to subdivide two lots once eyed for a coach-house project.

The owner of two White Rock lots that were recently eyed for a controversial coach-house project is now asking to subdivide the property into three parcels.

But concerns remain that coach houses could again be proposed for the site.

“He could sign anything, swear on the Bible,” Coun. Grant Meyer told council of assurances the applicant has “no intention” of proposing coach houses again.

“I just don’t want an out, just in case there is an uproar.”

In presenting a new rezoning request to council Oct. 7, the city’s director of development services noted it was submitted by the owner “out of exasperation,” because council had previously indicated a three-lot project at the site – 14022 and 14034 North Bluff Rd. – would be preferred.

No design work has been done and it remains unclear if anything will actually be built, Paul Stanton noted.

The application is the third revision from the original, which first came to the city in July 2012 as a combined development, with four residential units over six commercial units. That project was deferred in September of the same year following public feedback, and returned in its first revised form in April 2013.

The second revision, with four homes and coach houses, was presented in July. Following a public hearing on Sept. 9, council voted unanimously to deny the necessary bylaw third reading.

Inappropriate density for the area was among concerns cited by council members; density, the impact on green space and “the wall of coach houses along the lane” were cited by opponents who spoke at the public hearing.

At the Oct. 7 meeting, Coun. Al Campbell also questioned if coach houses could still be built if the requested zoning amendment to RS-4 Single Unit (12.1m lot width) is approved. Current zoning is RS-1 One Unit Residential.

Stanton said while coach houses are permitted in both zones, the owner has indicated he has no plans to go that route.

“He would have the right to build whatever is permitted in the RS-4 zone, which includes coach houses.”

To eliminate that opportunity, the bylaw would have to be changed to remove the coach-house option, Stanton said.

Council voted unanimously to give first and second readings to the bylaw amendment. A public hearing on the application is expected to take place Nov. 4.


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