LETTERS: Public urged to be heard


Re: Oxford towers go to hearing, Nov. 25.


Re: Oxford towers go to hearing, Nov. 25.

After more than two years of work and consultation, The Oxford is moving to public hearing on Dec. 7.

Our team is excited to hear the community’s response to this proposed project. We feel that we must clarify the facts prior to the public-hearing process.

The land in question is located along Oxford Street and totals 2.7 acres. When our team started the process in 2013, the most obvious plan was three buildings of varied storeys that would allow adequate setbacks but would take up the entire footprint of the property.

It was at this point that members of the community began discussions with our experts about a number of significant trees on the property, specifically the heron rookery on the eastern side. We called in respected arborists and landscape architects, and all agreed the 86 significant trees in that section needed to be saved.

Under our current plan, which is for two taller towers, all of the trees in question are saved and we have committed to turn over one acre – over one-third of the site – to the city as a community asset and park.

Throughout the process we’ve heard from residents that saving the trees was of utmost importance. That’s what we’ve done. We believe that reducing the building footprint – thus increasing height – is the best use of land, and accurately reflects the core values of White Rock.

We believe we have gone above and beyond, holding more consultation than required; hiring respected experts to advise us; having a leading architect design buildings; and putting forward a proposal we believe will be one of the best in the region.

We listened when the community told us they wanted fewer units  – our project has only 121 – and less traffic; about preserving urban forest; about community amenities. We listened to the wish for public art, and to increasing Oxford Street setbacks to minimize impact on condo owners to the north.

Now we are proud to have a development going to public hearing that reflects our entire community, not just a select few.

We encourage all of White Rock to come out to the public hearing and have your voice heard.

Jay Minhas, Elegant Development

• • •

A petition with 2,000 signatures opposing height and density of the 24- and 21-storey Oxford towers was submitted to the City of White Rock a couple of months ago.

I encourage everyone who signed to attend Monday’s public hearing and speak to the reasons that inspired you to support this petition, or at the very least show your support. Even though the petition has been on file and a detailed cover letter emailed to each city councillor and mayor, the public hearing still bears a tremendous amount of weight.

I express gratitude to the petition volunteers who rallied to reach as many people as physically possible this summer. There are so many engaged residents who truly care about the future and quality of life in our quaint community.

Clearly the petition was a tool for those interested in communicating their stance of opposition. People appreciated the opportunity to have their voices heard.

The public-hearing process will be a final opportunity to speak about the towers, proposed in an area outside of the Town Centre, which is also against the current OCP. The developer is asking for a build which is almost five times the height of the nearby recently built Royce complex.

During the petition process, I encountered residents who are fearful, angry, pessimistic, apathetic and resentful of some of the decision-making bodies at city hall in terms of mayor, council and senior staff. Their trust has been broken, and several examples were cited again and again. Many refused to sign because they felt it would not make one iota of a difference.

Yet I consistently stayed positive and encouraged others to have faith that our elected officials would honour the community voice.

I steadfastly continued along the petition path with optimism, hope, faith and trust that our mayor and council would value the community feedback and act accordingly.

It takes just four council votes to approve this developer’s application. Four of our elected officials can outnumber thousands of voices – hardly seems fair, yet we elected our public officials to act on our behalf.

The petition speaks volumes, and hopefully the hearing will as well.

Debbie Lawrance, White Rock



Just Posted

Cloverdale Rodeo finals hand out $330K to champion riders

Bareback rider Caleb Bennet tied the arena’s record with a 93.5-point ride Monday

Crews battle second-alarm fire at Surrey care facility

It happened at the Czorny Alzheimer Centre, in the 16800-block of 66th Avenue

‘It’s a game changer’: 15-year-old wins professional skateboarding contest on two skateboards

‘No one has ever seen it before’ said producer of Cloverdale contest

Winners to come to Semiahmoo Shopping Centre

Former Zellers to also include a gym and daycare

Peace Arch Hospital, Sources requesting volunteers

Program to help seniors get home safely after hospital stay

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Man arrested after police standoff and fire at Abbotsford home

Suspect allegedly breached conditions to not be near victim or her home

Should B.C. already be implementing province-wide fire bans?

A petition is calling for B.C. Wildfire Service to issue a ban to reduce risk of human caused wildfires

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

UPDATE: Highway 1 reopened after multi-vehicle crash east of Chilliwack

Westbound lanes near Herrling Island were closed for hours amid busy holiday weekend traffic

Police watchdog investigating motorcycle crash in Kamloops

A Kamloops Mountie had stopped the driver for speeding, but they raced off from the 0fficer

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Most Read

l -->