LETTERS: Planning a better city

Editor:

Re: City takes closer look at tower plans, July 29.

Editor:

Re: City takes closer look at tower plans, July 29.

Densification appears to be in vogue in urban planning all over North America these days, so it should not be difficult for the planners on these three projects to study the impact of such changes.

Certainly the negatives include massive change to the character of the neighbourhood. That is a given.

One of the perceived benefits is a broadening of the White Rock residential tax base.

In as much as the proposed developments include almost 175 new units, and the Evergreen home has undergone a substantial addition, there will be a large increase in infrastructure requirements. Water, electricity, heating fuel, parking, transit, fire protection, police protection, a possible influx of children needing education at schools, to name a few.

I may be stupid, but my experience over the last 40 years suggests to me that more residents tend to consume as much or more infrastructure needs and municipal services as pre-existing residents.

This is one of the reasons that many municipalities across Canada encourage commercial and industrial development, as these businesses pay a higher tax rate than residential, and consume less.

As it happens, land is too expensive in White Rock to allow for this type of planning.

I do recall, several years ago, the presentation of the Bosa project at Thrift Avenue and Johnston Road, to include four highrise towers, including a couple of floors to accommodate a Campus of Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Some years later, we have seen the building of two towers, minus Kwantlen. Perhaps the remaining space might be a more appropriate location for highrise development, as it is in the downtown, main street area, perhaps it could include some retail space at street level.

Hopefully, the city will consider these projects carefully. Otherwise we may be reunited with Surrey, more quickly than we anticipated.

Bob Holden, White Rock

• • •

An open letter to White Rock council.

The roar of a bulldozer and cracking of trees falling on Vidal Street caught my attention. White Rock of the present and future.

Trees taken down, wildlife fleeing, plants destroyed…

Then we can look forward to a ghetto of ‘upscale’ highrises in this area of White Rock. Basically from Oxford to Vidal there will be as many ‘high-end’ condos shoehorned in as city council will allow. Never mind the OCP, as it does not seem to come into play when developers want to build in White Rock.

Where is the family housing, co-op housing, low-income housing? None of it is in the planning, from what is being presented now or in the future.

Looks like we will have a right side and wrong side of the tracks in White Rock.

I ask you to take a long hard look and try and imagine the city in the future. How about traffic overload? Parks? Trees? Adequate infrastructure?

Maybe even affordable family housing. That would be nice.

Audrey Belotte, White Rock