The City of White Rock’s conversion from Imperial to metric measurements has resulted in developers receiving greater heights and setbacks than previously allowed.
Director of planning and development services Karen Cooper confirmed the detail during last month’s land-use and planning committee meeting.
“Council is correct. They rounded up from the previous Imperial calculation,” Cooper said in response to concerns raised by Coun. Al Campbell.
At the same time, “the metric numbers are the correct numbers,” she said.
Campbell questioned the conversion during discussion of a zoning-amendment application for 1230 Best St., where proponents want to build a duplex.
The proposed 7.7-metre height conforms with both the current RS-1 One Unit Residential zone and the requested RT-1 Two Unit (Duplex) Residential zone.
On a comparison chart, however, the figure is noted as equal to 25.3 feet – .04 feet more than the actual conversion result.
Campbell said that conflicts with the height maximum people are quoted for single-family homes.
“It is not 25.3 feet,” he said. “It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Somewhere along the line, it was easier to just round it up.
“I would almost guarantee that all of these metric setbacks are wrong.”
Campbell said the rounding up has resulted in “many, many, many cases (where) the numbers are wrong, blatant.”
Cooper agreed a rounding-up did occur in the transition from Imperial to metric. The new figures “are slightly higher than some years ago,” she said. However, “7.7m is the standard in the bylaw.”
“Twenty-five-point-three is very close.”
Weighing in, Coun. Louise Hutchinson disagreed that measurement was an issue. Bigger issues, she said, include the proposed duplex’s size, the potential for a suite and insufficient parking.
The volume of comments at the Sept. 29 meeting was a stark contrast to the awkward silence that hung over council Oct. 6, when the amendment bylaw was presented for first and second reading.
When no one spoke to second a motion to move the application forward, Baldwin backed it, “to get it on the floor.”
After more silence, he called the question, with the responding silence taken as support.
“Don’t be so shy, guys,” Baldwin said.
The motion carried 5-1, with Campbell opposed.
It included a direction to staff to schedule the required public hearing.