Development didn’t drop tax


Big houses impact quality of life in this city.


Big houses impact quality of life in this city.

As a taxpayer and property owner and resident here in White Rock, my concern was prompted by recent building permits and board of variance decisions.

Their practical impact is that of a rezoning and redevelopment permit granted.

Property values of all houses – as well as views of a large number of adjacent houses – are impacted negatively.

Unfortunately, the argument that larger houses on current lots will increase tax revenue for the city through their values is flawed, as large homes tend to decrease general property values specifically in higher-end and view areas, while putting stress on infrastructure.

We have seen a dramatic general increase in development on the hillsides and overall, including apartment buildings and highrises.

They were supposed to improve the city’s finances and therefore reduce our taxes.

The opposite happened. Taxes went up in percentage points despite higher assessed values. The strain on the infrastructure was too great and needed upgrading and repairing.

Numerous studies show that small to mid-sized municipalities do not profit from vigorous development, Surrey also being a case in point in this regard.

Sustained and value-added development is required. Better building and energy codes, low water consumption per residence, rain-water recycling, etc. This will increase dollar value, as well as quality of life and tax revenue.

I challenge our mayor, city councillors and all planning and engineering departments to pick up on this sustainable-development concept and find an implementation plan for the immediate near future and beyond.

Leadership is required in order for our city to move forward and set an example.

Ivan D. Lessner, White Rock