The City of White Rock’s ongoing discussions to revise its official community plan has some wondering what’s up.

LETTERS: Surveying White Rock’s future

Editor:

I was at the White Rock council meeting to hear plans for the controversial 21- and 24-storey towers proposal.

Editor:

I was at the White Rock council meeting to hear plans for the controversial 21- and 24-storey towers proposal (City takes closer look at tower plans, July 29).

I was surprised that council members had not received the information yet, but also at the planner’s suggestion that the advisory design panel review it again with suggested changes before bringing it before council.

There are actually three developments being reviewed, all requiring Official Community Plan changes to permit these developments of 12 to 24 storeys.

The developers will have to go to considerable expense to make these changes, without knowing whether their projects will be allowed. However, it will be worth it if they can get cheap land that is not zoned for highrises.

Is this what you, the taxpayers of White Rock, want?

The old argument that more people in White Rock will lower our taxes has never proven to be true.

The city planner presented survey results regarding the Official Community Plan update underway (‘No one has defined White Rock’s unique character’, July 31).

Coun. Lynne Sinclair brought up a good point about one of the questions the survey asked. Those surveyed were asked to rate, from one to five, density options for the city. The way this question was asked, the people surveyed mainly answered that the high density should go in the town centre. They dutifully filled in the next four options, not realizing the planner would interpret the result as residents would next want highrises along North Bluff, then Five Corners, then adjacent to the Town Center and lastly into single-family neighbourhoods.

The report further states that some residents describe White Rock as a quaint seaside town and wish to see this unique identity preserved. Also, some express concern the size of new housing, height of highrises and introduction of concrete buildings detract from this small-town feel.

Keeping this in mind, I was appalled to see how many multi-storey projects have been submitted to the city.

Who is encouraging this? Is this what you want?

I have been told that White Rock has signed on to Metro Vancouver to increase dwelling units by 4,000. I Googled Metro Vancouver and learned the following projections – White Rock to increase dwelling units from 9,900 in 2006 to 11,700 by 2021 – are “to assist in long-range planning and are guidelines only.”

We, the people, should be deciding how much more density we want. We are already one of the most dense cities in the region. Since 2006, we have grown our units significantly, especially if you count all the legal and illegal secondary suites and new highrises in the town centre.

Do we have enough sewer capacity? Water? Do we want more traffic? Have we enough space in our hospital? Enough schools? Enough fire and police services? Enough transit and parking? Do we want to be another West End?

I understand these projects will not be voted on by council until the Official Community Plan is finalized.  You still have time to make your views known.

Patricia Kealy, White Rock

• • •

I listened to a report presented by the city’s director of planning on the ‘Imagine White Rock 2045’ survey, and I would like the residents to imagine this:

A director presents a survey report to the council by emphasizing it is not a scientific survey.

Imagine that the city has hired consultants and spent hours planning a non-scientific survey. Imagine that the director acknowledges that some people expressed concern that the survey may have been contaminated.

Imagine she says that was addressed by the question in the survey about residency – even though it was pointed to her that anyone could sign in as a resident.

Now imagine she quotes all the figures and interpretations from the survey as being “significant”.

I could not believe that not one councillor questioned how future development plans would rely on this kind of survey. I am very concerned that this survey and future similar surveys will determine the direction of OCP.

Aroon Shah, White Rock

• • •

Are we a bit muddled here in White Rock? Don’t we have the cart before the horse?

Our OCP is being updated – presumably to better reflect the needs and wishes of White Rock residents.

Yet council is already entertaining proposals to build massive projects on Oxford and Thrift, known to be contrary to the current OCP. Does this not imply a tacit promise by council to facilitate their construction in due course? No wonder locals are out in force again protesting! Remind you of the Bosa Towers?

Sadly, it seems protesters will have to muddle on while council and big business steamrolls over them.

Mary Ponsford, White Rock

 

 

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