White Rock votes down 12-storey Thrift Avenue proposal

Staff recommended pushing development forward to public hearing following changes by proponents.

White Rock council members voted against a 12-storey development Monday.

White Rock council members voted against a 12-storey development Monday.

A 12-storey development proposed for Thrift Avenue will not proceed to a public hearing, despite support from city staff, after a majority of White Rock council members voted against moving the project forward.

The development, proposed by White Rock-based Forge Properties, calls for 33 residential units over a half-acre parcel located at 14825 and 14835 Thrift Ave.

Changes were made to the original application – for a 13-storey, 36-unit building, submitted in July 2015 – after staff recommended in November that the applicant address concerns with height, overall massing, density and shared driveway access.

At Monday’s land use and planning committee meeting, council members were given an overview of the changes, along with recommendations to give first and second reading to an Official Community Plan amendment and rezoning bylaw and to direct staff to schedule a public hearing.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin was the lone vote in support.

Couns. Helen Fathers and Lynne Sinclair both expressed concerns about the impact on views for neighbouring residents in The Royce, despite an analysis that staff said proved views “were not going to be dramatically impacted.”

Fathers said the minimal impact predicted by staff “couldn’t be further from the truth.”

“When I look at it, I just think it’s a huge impact on the people who have spent their hard-earned money buying into The Royce,” she said.

Coun. Grant Meyer said he wouldn’t support the project because of concerns with the proposed Community Amenity Contributions – reduced to $280,000 from $350,000 in the previous application – which he said were “not quite where I’d like to see them.”