File photo                                Letter writers criticize municipal leadership in the City of White Rock, suggesting lifestyle is taking a backseat to development.

File photo Letter writers criticize municipal leadership in the City of White Rock, suggesting lifestyle is taking a backseat to development.

LETTERS: Frustrated in the city

Letter writers speak out against decisions made by White Rock city council.

Editor:

Sometimes I really don’t know whether to laugh at Mayor Wayne Baldwin and his council for their collective view of the future of our little city by the sea, or to cry for what they so ignorantly are willing to throw away. All in a misguided quest to turn the city of White Rock into a smaller version of the West End.

They are, I am sure, feeling they are doing the right thing to ‘pay the bills’ by allowing developers to basically do whatever they want to our quaint, livable, little piece of paradise. But come on, Mr. Baldwin, you and your small group of co-conspirators must realize at this point that the citizens of this small community do not want 20-plus-storey towers, massive seldom-used parkades, old healthy trees uprooted or small eclectic businesses, such as the Blue Frog studio, put in jeopardy.

You must realize that if these so-called ‘improvements’ were put to a referendum, you would soon, in a rather overwhelming way, find that out for yourselves.

Time is starting to run out before it will become to late to repair the damage you have already done to our small community. One which we all love and see slowly disappearing, and find increasingly hard to maintain in the midst of so much negativity all around us, here in our small town, in our country and in the world in general.

Thank you for your attention – one can only hope !

Barry Cameron, White Rock

• • •

Are you a disgruntled White Rock resident?

Under Mayor Wayne Baldwin and this council, White Rock has become a construction/highrise nightmare for the residents, and a dream come true for multi-billion-dollar developers that are selling our city as the ‘Miami of the north.’

We believe in growth, but it must be carefully and thoughtfully planned with the approval and support of the people that elected you. Instead, we are met with secret meetings and untruths. The actual issues are not being solved.

Our water is running brown and we are told to drink it. Our garbage pickup has been eliminated. We don’t have adequate fire protection, our schools are overcrowded and access to the Peace Arch Hospital is questionable.

Now, the massive proposed parking structure at our waterfront will be lighting up our night and creating absolute gridlock at the beach. There is not the infrastructure to support this and no way to access emergency vehicles. God forbid there is another fire.

It is irrational to think you can funnel 200-300 more cars onto the tiny roundabout on Vidal Street. Residents on Vidal and Victoria will be blocked from leaving their buildings. It would create major backups trying to leave the beach. Not to mention the $13 million to taxpayers, and that it will sit mostly vacant for nine months of the year.

The other concern is crime. Our vehicle was stolen last month out of the city parkade under the Montecito. It was parked so it could be seen from the street. This was the third vehicle we have had stolen. The police told us that gangs systematically hit our parkades.

We recognize the need for parking at peak times and support the two-level parkade originally proposed at a cost to taxpayers of $4 million. This is common-sense growth.

So what is the solution? Our elected officials are not acting in our best interests. They are not listening to our concerns or solving the issues. The small groups of distressed residents are coming together in solidarity.

Time is running out for this mayor and council. White Rock should not be up for sale.

Christy Fox, White Rock

• • •

My wife and I have lived on the Peninsula for nearly 40 years.

We frequent the White Rock town centre often for shopping, culture and to dine out. Johnston Road has a small-town feeling and we like that.

Now, Buy Low is closing, Hillcrest Bakery is in the process of moving. Deals World is going to close at the end of the month, The Blue Frog is feeling the pressure and even Leela Thai is closing. In their place, highrises will ascend, blocking views and creating huge traffic jams.

Worse, the quaint little town of White Rock will lose its charm as concrete blocks the skyline and traffic fumes foul the air.

Mayor Wayne Baldwin and council have been making decisions that affect the town in a negative way and only helps developers. As a certain president down south would tweet – SAD.

Harvey Ostroff, Surrey

• • •

It is with regret that the people living in White Rock have to continually put up with the farce of going to development meetings to try to understand and be able to voice our opinion on development issues in our little city.

To what avail does going to these meetings help? Mayor Wayne Baldwin and the coalition consisting of Couns. Lynne Sinclair, Bill Lawrence, Megan Knight and Grant Meyer appear to have control over the council. I have noticed that Couns. Helen Fathers and Dave Chesney are the only two that stick up for our city and try to do what is right.

I have also noticed when I go to these meetings that Baldwin doesn’t seem interested in relating to the audience. So what is the point in trying to get your opinion across? You feel that their minds are made up and that your opinion doesn’t matter. Are we to see more approval of towers, parking lots and other developments that are not currently in the OCP?

Hopefully, when people go to the polls next year, they will remember when they get to the voting box what council’s decision has allowed our comfortable community to become – another West End.

Yes, we do need development, but what has gone on in White Rock these past three years, between water, First Nation water, towers, parks, garbage, the beach area and other issues that this city council has mishandled, upsetting residents, is all getting to be too much.

I hope in the future that council will consider the residents when making decisions on their behalf.

M. Reynolds, White Rock

• • •

Open letter to White Rock council.

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I turn to you pleading to save my/our community from destruction.

Many of us live and function within this community. Our neighbours and our services, as well as our friendly staff members of the businesses we frequent, are in peril. Our way of life is in peril!

Of course, there is room for change, and it should be welcomed. It mostly is. However, the cost, personally, for many of us is big, taking also into account the personal finance side of things, too. Or, is this a deliberate evolution towards a more Monte Carlo-looking city? Yuck!

It is absolutely unconscionable to allow the building of highrises – three-plus floors, in my opinion – anywhere south of Thrift Avenue. Perhaps, even south of North Bluff.

It is an aesthetic disgrace to have the existing incongruent Bosa towers, as two towers of uninspired, insipid “design” to add more to the collection. Plus, all the other logistic situations that they bring forth.

If only there would be some design parameters! Add beauty in some form to the community. We need more trees, not cement towers in our city.

It is certainly a harmful move for myself and many others.

Where will we shop conveniently for groceries? Where will be our little, quiet and friendly coffee shop? Where is our lifestyle going? The people we count on when shopping locally?

I beg you to consider the impact you are imposing on the lives of many with such a reckless “construction” boom. Whom are you making the changes for?

Alicia Ballard, White Rock