Monday’s public hearing on 24- and 21-storey developments proposed for west of the town centre attracted hundreds.

Monday’s public hearing on 24- and 21-storey developments proposed for west of the town centre attracted hundreds.

LETTERS: The people have already spoken

Editor:

Re: Towers backed after 5-hour hearing, Dec. 9.

Editor:

Re: Towers backed after 5-hour hearing, Dec. 9.

Why is White Rock council obsessed with pushing the Elegant project on Oxford Street forward?

We have been led to believe that the priority is developing our town centre. The project on Oxford does nothing to encourage developers to consider building in our town core. Quite the contrary!

Why would a developer consider buying the more expensive downtown properties when they can build their towers on less expensive land outside the core?

Instead of catering to these perimeter builders, why not focus on initiating incentives to build our ‘downtown’? I do believe our planning department sees this concept but are obviously over-ruled and bullied by the White Rock Coalition (Oxford towers go to hearing, Nov. 25).

The odour that we smell in our City by the Sea is emanating from behind the closed doors at city hall. Does our city government have the best interests of its constituents at heart, or do they have their own questionable agendas or motives?

Glen A. Friesen, White Rock

• • •

I attended Monday’s hearing on the ‘twin towers’.

We have just three high-density developments west of the White Rock town centre, all having eight to 12 floors. Why has the city accepted such a controversial development-permit application?

Is there a link to the purchase of the White Rock water utility? Could there be a conflict of interest? Did the city contact the Comptroller of Water Rights and the ministries of environment and health for this sensitive area? Are the minimum setbacks for wells obeyed? Could it be that hundred of cars parking underground will leak oil and other substances into the environment – just beside our drinking water?

This property should be a park.

Lutz Haack, White Rock

• • •

Open letters to the City of White Rock.

This is the wrong project in the wrong location.

My objections are based in part on my belief in the importance of ‘smart growth’ – a planning practice used throughout Metro Vancouver and North America.

‘Smart growth’ concentrates growth in compact walkable urban centres – such as our town centre as outlined in the Official Community Plan. This project clearly does not meet that practice. This 21- and 24-storey project should only be considered in the area outlined in the current OCP as the town centre.

The practice of ‘smart growth’ also advocates compact, transit-oriented, walkable, bicycle-friendly land use, including neighbourhood schools and mixed-use development with a range of housing choices.

The project does not do that, but rather it would spread the densification out of the city centre. This does not create a walkable compact neighbourhood getting people out of their cars, supporting our local business and creating vibrancy in our town centre.

‘Smart growth’ values long-range, regional considerations of sustainability over a short-term focus.

This project, in my belief, does not look at the big picture. We must grow and develop our city in a way that best meets our needs and not those of the developer. We should be able to work together to achieve a project that fits the needs of the people, the city and character of the neighbourhood.

Council should complete the review of the OCP and consultation process prior to considering such a project. Please listen to the people that this development will affect most and reject this project. Consider developments with less density and height for this neighbourhood.

Catherine V. Ferguson, White Rock

• • •

Do you really expect anyone to believe that, as posted on the city website Dec. 3, the submissions that have been made with 91 in support and the seven opposed to the Elegant Developments should have any bearing on the decision being made as to proceed or not?

Where are the addresses for the 91 names in support? Why are so many Surrey residents listed including family members of the developer? How many are from White Rock? Very few, if any, are listed.

For the 91 names to be valid, in my opinion you need to provide addresses for these individuals.

The petition with 1,890 signatures opposing have provided addresses. We have been told that on the petition that only White Rock residents will have any influence. The same must be for all the submissions.

Vicky Strom, White Rock

• • •

I attended the meeting on Nov. 23 at city hall regarding four highrise buildings proposed by Elegant, MPW Projects and Forge for the corner of Oxford and Thrift.

I have several concerns arising from this meeting:

• Water – Construction of these buildings surrounds and imposes on the aquifer and includes proposals for up to three levels of underground parking. Aquifers by their very nature are porous and can be contaminated. Coupled with the city’s purchase of the aquifer from Epcor for a rumored $10 million – a figure not known to the public at this time – the responsibility level for safeguarding this resource should be acute.

• Density – 21 storeys, 24 storeys, 13-plus storeys and 13 storeys on one corner, in addition to two large complexes recently developed in this same area. This represents a density comparable to very large cities, not a bedroom community like White Rock.

• Need – Several large developments have come onto the market in recent years. They have not sold out. On the fringes of White Rock, development is intense. The need for such density does not exist.

• Services – Schools are overcapacity; the hospital, according to reports, is operating at capacity.

• Traffic – Roads in White Rock are narrow with limited ability for expansion. The proposed density would compound existing traffic issues and further erode air and noise quality.

I am a longtime White Rock resident and believe this community can continue to develop in a manner that both protects our natural environment and sustains a cohesive community. Development for development’s sake is a reckless path to destroying our unique city.

Catherine Sperling Dreyer, White Rock

 

 

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

A mixed-use development with 69 market rental units and 10 commercial units is proposed for the 2300-block of King George Boulevard. (Thinkspace rendering)
Pair of South Surrey apartment proposals move forward

Council gives third reading to rezoning applications for market-rental and residential projects

Launched in January, Uplift Canada was founded by Tsawwassen resident Maggie Larocque. (submitted photo)
Surrey shelters get clothing collected June 26 by Uplift Canada

Book a pickup on website of the new non-profit, founded by Delta resident

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Most Read