White Rock highrise application withdrawn

Proposal for 15-storey tower at Nichol and North Bluff met with opposition from residents last month.

Residents take a look at plans for a highrise development at a public-information meeting Aug. 12. Below

A developer planning to build a highrise tower 10 blocks west of White Rock’s town centre has gone back to the drawing board after withdrawing their proposal earlier this week.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin announced Monday the application for rezoning that would pave the way for a 15-storey, 134-unit residential development at North Bluff Road and Nichol Road had been withdrawn by Texor Homes Inc.

Vice-president of Texor, Howard Steiss, a South Surrey resident, told Peace Arch News Wednesday that the company will be “having another look at the possibilities” for the three-lot property, which currently houses a convenience store and an uninhabited house.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to come up with a solution that meets the needs of the community,” Steiss said. “Being on a major transit arterial, it’s an excellent property for a housing development.”

Dozens of White Rock residents turned up at a public-information meeting about the proposal last month, many speaking out against the planned highrise.

Among the residents’ concerns was the building’s location – several blocks outside of the town centre, which is designated as high-density in White Rock’s Official Community Plan, currently under review – as well as decreased property values for neighbours and increased crime.

On Monday, council voted to support amendments to Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Statement, which initially projected an influx of 7,000 new residents to the city by 2041. The new figures predict only 3,500 in additional population, which the city’s director of planning Karen Cooper told council the city should be able to accommodate within the city’s town centre.

While Steiss said that there wasn’t one specific concern that prompted Texor to pull out of its plans, he said he recognized that there might be a better development option for that particular neighbourhood.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of sensitivity in White Rock, and we respect that,” he said. “We just have to work together with the community to find a solution.”

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