White Rock council has given the thumbs-up to a zoning amendment that will permit two North Bluff Road lots to be subdivided into three – but their support is contingent on a promise.
The owner of the lots at 14022 and 14034 North Bluff Rd. must ensure coach houses can never be built on the site.
“Mr. James, you have a little bit of legal work to do,” Mayor Wayne Baldwin told Milt James following council’s unanimous approval of the amendment.
Council gave the amendment – which rezones the sites to RS-4 single unit from RS-1 one-unit residential – third and final reading Nov. 18, following a public hearing on the proposal.
It was the fifth public hearing regarding the properties. The application was on the brink of once again being sent back to the drawing board when Baldwin suggested a restrictive covenant that prevents coach houses as a solution to neighbourhood angst.
“This is becoming a bad story,” Baldwin said.
A staff report notes the application is the third revision to the original plan, which proposed two buildings with six commercial units on the main floor and four residential units on top.
Resident concerns surrounding density and a proposal to build coach houses persisted each time the plan came to council.
Speakers at the Nov. 18 public hearing reiterated those concerns.
“How can we be certain coach houses will not be built on these lots?” said Susie Charette, whose property neighbours the lots in question.
“The bylaw needs to be changed to remove the coach-house option.”
Coldicutt Avenue resident Ian Russell said if coach houses were allowed it would make “a West End out of White Rock” – and force his own hand.
“You’re going to force us to turn our home into an investment property, and we’ll do that and move on,” he said.
Architect Chip Barrett – noting his concerns with “misinformation” on the project – noted that going from two lots to three will still result in less density than an existing duplex next door has.
The project, Barrett said, “will make a tremendous contribution” to the area, and is “not something to be afraid of.”