A proposed multi-family, multi-building development in east White Rock was the subject of a public hearing Monday evening. (City of White Rock image)

Pros and cons of White Rock housing development debated at virtual public hearing

Affordable housing need, traffic concerns among reasons cited for and against Beachway project

Residents both for and against a proposed rezoning and multi-building residential project in east White Rock made their case during an online public hearing Monday evening.

Those in favour of the Beachway development – which includes a six-storey, 49-unit apartment building at the corner of North Bluff Road and Maple Street; 25 affordable rental apartments at North Bluff Road and Lee Street, and 14 townhouses on Maple Street, directly south of the 49-unit apartment building – cited a need for affordable housing in the city, as well an increase in density for long-term economic reasons.

Those against the project cited overcrowded schools, traffic problems, parking issues and construction noise as reasons they were opposed.

READ ALSO: White Rock launches webpage to help residents track development

Caller Richard Coulter, noting he is a 30-year resident of White Rock, said he supports the project because “it provides a variety of housing” while Matt Weber, who said he represents “a majority” of home owners just east of the proposed development added that “there’s only one solution to affordability and that’s more homes.”

Weber also noted that, with regard to the six-storey height of the apartment building, it “doesn’t affect anyone from White Rock’s view.”

Ken Jones, who said he has lived in the neighbourhood of the proposed Beachway for 50 years, was strongly against the development.

“I and my neighbours have had enough of constant construction around us and everywhere we turn in our city. Give us a break from all of this,” he said, adding he was frustrated by noise and “constantly being asked by developers and realtors if and when we want to sell.”

“Please put an immediate stop message out that our homes are not for sale. We just want peace and quiet and not to have to continue to defend our city.”

Caller Mukesh Bhatti noted that his own 60-name petition against the development included only signatures from residents like himself who live near the proposed development.

“The results (of the petition) are alarming, as they should be for all of you, so please buckle up,” he said.

“We are not too late to stop this six-storey circus.”

He suggested there are “many aging buildings” closer to White Rock’s town centre that would be better suited for greater density and affordable housing.

Prior to listening to callers – all of whom were given five minutes to speak – White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker also noted that the city had received 17 written submissions – three in support, 13 opposed and one with comments.

Three petitions were also mentioned during the meeting, though those opposed – including Bhatti – took issue with one of the petitions in favour of the project, citing a lack of legible names, addresses and dates.

According to bylaw 2232, all petitions must include the date, legal full names and addresses of all those who sign, and a statement at the top indicating why signatures have been collected.

White Rock Coun. Erika Johanson also organized an online petition against the project, but it was not presented at the meeting. In an email Tuesday to Tracey Arthur, the city’s director of corporate administration, Johanson questioned why the undated petition was presented, while hers and one other was not, calling the situation “grossly unfair.”

Johanson told Peace Arch News earlier this week that she started her petition not to choose one side over another, but rather as a way “to reach out to White Rock residents to determine how many had an opposing viewpoint.”

The Beachway project – which has been in front of council since March 2019 – had first and second readings at a Jan 11 council meeting, and will return to council for third reading on March 8. If the rezoning is denied, the application will be closed.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

affordable housingdevelopment

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sports broadcaster and 30-year high school football coach Farhan Lalji. (Image via farhanlalji.com)
Farhan Lalji chats about the new B.C. high school sports governance proposal

Lalji, a 30-year high school football coach, thinks the new proposal will be bad for student athletes

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Surrey councillor trying to get policing referendum on the table, again

‘I’m sending it back for clarification,’ mayor decides

A simulation lab at Surrey Memorial Hospital has been helping healthcare professionals train during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Memorial Hospital’s simulation lab trains professionals during COVID-19 pandemic

Surrey Hospitals Foundation contributing $100K toward new technologies

Dr. Bonnie Henry speaks about the province’s COVID-19 vaccine plans during a news conference at the legislature in Victoria. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Dr. Bonnie Henry says Surrey immunization targeted at neighbourhoods most at risk

‘What we’ve been looking at is the case rates by neighbourhood,’ provincial health officer says

A horse and driver cruise around the track at Fraser Downs in Cloverdale Sept. 14, 2020 amid smoke from U.S. forest fires. Harness Racing B.C. announced it’s halting the spring season two weeks early because of a lack of money and says racing won’t continue in September without and influx of cash. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Harness racing suspended at Fraser Downs

Spring season ends early, 135 workers out of jobs

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read