White Rock looks for OCP survey ‘skew’

City monitors results after developer urges support from neighbouring residents.

Residents take a look at plans for a two-tower development proposed for Oxford Street at an April 2014 public meeting.

Residents take a look at plans for a two-tower development proposed for Oxford Street at an April 2014 public meeting.

The City of White Rock is “monitoring the situation” after concerns were raised last week about a developer’s involvement in the city’s Official Community Plan survey.

Several White Rock residents raised the alarm after receiving an email June 1 from Elegant Development Inc. encouraging them to complete the survey, which launched last month to gather feedback from residents as the city begins updating its OCP.

“We need your help filling it out yourselves, if you are White Rock/South Surrey residents and also any friends/family who can help,” the email said. “This is very important for ‘The Oxford’ project.”

The Richmond-based real estate developer is proposing two highrise towers – 21 and 24 stories – to be built on a 2.7-acre parcel of land on Oxford Street, previously owned by Epcor, the city’s water provider.

When asked about residents outside of White Rock completing the survey, the city’s director of development and planning, Karen Cooper – who is spearheading the OCP update project – directed inquiries to the city’s communications officer, Shannon Levesque.

Levesque told Peace Arch News Tuesday that there are methods in place within the anonymous survey to distinguish residents and business owners in White Rock from those outside of the city. In addition to a question about what neighbourhood respondents identify with, surveys done online require participants to complete a pre-registration process, Levesque said.

“Before you’re even allowed to answer the survey, it does request that you have a formal White Rock address,” she explained.

Levesque later responded via email to inquiries about the developer’s emails, noting that the city was aware of the situation and has been in contact with Elegant, who issued a followup email June 3 with “brief clarifications” about the survey.

“The OCP survey is only intended for White Rock residents and/or business owners,” the email states.

A representative from Elegant told PAN via email Thursday that the company “immediately” sent out the followup email after concerns were raised by White Rock city staff about the original message being sent to South Surrey residents.

“Elegant believes that the OCP process will be strengthened by having widespread public input,” Rimple Manhas wrote, noting the email was sent to “approximately 50-60” residents and business owners.

“The email was sent with the best of intentions with the understanding that some residents of South Surrey may be business owners in White Rock, and therefore qualify to complete the survey.”

Levesque said by email that city staff are in the process of reviewing the submitted surveys for any problems related to the developer’s involvement.

“Currently, there does not seem to be an obvious skew in the results, and we are monitoring the situation,” Levesque wrote. “The survey closes June 17 and we will be reporting out to council on the results including addressing any skews.”

The concerns stemming from the email Elegant sent earlier this month come on the heels of another controversy regarding the proposed Oxford Street development. In April, the city admitted to providing the names and home addresses of neighbouring residents to Elegant, who used that information to mail residents invitations to a public meeting about the project.

Cooper said at the time it was a process that had taken place in the past, but the policy had been reviewed so that it would not happen again.

Just Posted

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

Converter thefts have increased dramatically as the price of platinum has skyrocketed. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press photo)
Catalytic converter thefts continue to plague Delta

Police say the thefts are on the rise across the city, with seven incidents on Thursday, June 17

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
‘Stay-at-home mom’ works to raise $25K to help Options build housing in Surrey

Tammy Bourelle boosts ‘Women of Options’ fundraising campaign, which ends June 30

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read