Part of a rendering of the Lady Alexandra building proposed for 1310 Johnston Rd. (File photo)

City of White Rock responds to Lady Alexandra court petition

City says it did not breach ‘obligation of procedural fairness’

The City of White Rock has responded to a petition to the court filed by the developers of the Lady Alexandra development.

Calgary-based firm G.S.R. Capital Group Inc. is taking the city to court after White Rock council approved contentious OCP and zoning amendments for 1310 Johnston Rd., the site of the proposed Lady Alexandra building.

The proposed development, which is planned for the current site of Leela Thai Restaurant and other businesses, was approved for a development permit at a height of 12 storeys, but after the 2018 civic election, did not receive a building permit for that height, which allowed council’s re-examination of the project.

Council voted 5-2 in March to approve bylaw 2290, which resulted in down-zoning of the property to a maximum height of six storeys from the originally planned 12 storeys, and also modified allowable density.

Among other items, the petition filed by G.S.R. alleges that the city breached an obligation of procedural fairness.

READ ALSO: Lady Alexandra developer takes City of White Rock to court

“That is clearly not the case,” the city’s response says.

The response states that before zoning and OCP amendments were adopted, G.S.R had three separate opportunities to make representations to city council, one on Jan. 19, another on Feb. 11 and the third on March 11.

“The Petitioner was given three separate opportunities to make its case directly to Council, and did so on each occasion.

“That is more (than) sufficient to meet any requirement for procedure fairness,” the response says.

According to section 463 of the Local Government Act, a municipal government may withhold a building permit for 30 days if it passes a resolution identifying a conflict between a development proposed in the application for a building permit and an official community plan that is “under preparation.”

Section 463 was mentioned several times in the response to the petition.

The G.S.R. petition argues that council resolutions made on Nov. 7 (the newly-elected council was inaugurated on Nov. 5) were not sufficient to put the new zoning and OCP bylaws “under preparation.”

“The City submits that this argument is without merit (because) the Petitioner’s argument is factually unreasonable,” the response says.

“The council resolutions of November 7, 2018 direct staff to prepare and bring forward bylaws to amend by the City’s zoning bylaw and OCP. Work on actually drafting the bylaws began immediately thereafter. It is unreasonable to assert the bylaws were not ‘under preparation’ as a result of these events.”

The allegations have not yet been tested by the court.



aaron.hinks@peacearchnews.com

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