A stroll down White Rock’s streets will reveal dozens of ‘houses’ recently constructed or currently under construction, and a city under the immense pressure of change – a change that is not for the better.
Fueled by non-existent design guidelines and poorly crafted zoning bylaws, I’ve watched as a once appropriately scaled community devolve into a shocking spectacle of excessive bloat.
While the makers and designers of these dumb boxes will surely disappear as quickly as they surfaced, the result of their handiwork will impact this city for decades to come.
It is shameful and disappointing that so many opportunities to improve the city environment with well-considered design have been lost through the application of greed and ineptitude.
As a onetime member of the White Rock Advisory Design Panel, I can say that never once were the perpetrators of these monstrosities ever held to account. Nor will they be, until our elected officials, as well as planning staff, acknowledge the importance of single-family home design has on our neighbourhoods.
Because of the sheer quantity, houses are the main generator for the fabric of our streets and thus our neighbourhoods.
As such, house design must to be subjected to well-considered design bylaws that regulate all aspects of the design – aspects such as form, mass, scale, impact on surroundings, energy use and landscape design.
Otherwise, what is unfolding here will leave our neighbourhood streets places of anonymous existence devoid of quality, scale and harmony.
To have great streets, we need to have great houses – houses that enhance a vision which reinforces community and social responsibility, not destroy it.
Unfortunately, we’re seeing what happens when a comprehensive vision is missing.
The lowest common denominator rushes in and fills the void.
I encourage all like-minded residents to make their concerns known about this issue by participating in and commenting on the Official Community Plan review currently underway at www.talkwhiterock.ca
David Tyrell, White Rock