White Rock council has approved a development permit for a 23-storey

White Rock approves 23-storey highrise

Town-centre site already zoned for tower, mayor notes

The City of White Rock has approved a development permit for a 23-storey, 202-unit seniors independent living facility plus a two-storey commercial and amenity building in the town-centre area.

The approval came at  Monday’s council meeting (Nov. 7), following a public hearing in which supporters emphasized the facility’s potential role in upgrading and revitalizing the upper Johnston Road corridor, while negative comments seemed focused on opposition to any increase of highrises and condominiums in the town centre.

But, as speakers were reminded by staff members and Mayor Wayne Baldwin, the hearing did not pertain to matters of height and density – the town centre is already pre-zoned for development up to 265 feet (25 storeys) in height – but whether the building fit in with the “form and character” of the area.

Proponents for PARC Retirement Living were also at pains to explain that the development – at 1554/64 Johnston Rd. and 1563/65 George St. – would not  be selling condos but, rather, provide  a retirement community of rental units around a centralized hub of services including food and entertainment and would be built to LEED Gold environmental standards.

Parking was also an issue raised by speakers, although the developers have increased the provided spaces from 100 to 120.

“At a 0.55 ratio per unit, that’s higher than the standard (for the city),” said PARC vice-president Russell Hobbs.

While some residents expressed concern about the fate of trees on Johnston Road, acting director of planning and development services Kurt Alberts said that while the project will contribute to streetscape improvements, the city has yet to determine what “form and shape” they will take.

South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce executive director Cliff Annable described himself as a “big-time supporter” of the project.

“I was blown away with how beautiful it is,” he said.

White Rock BIA president Ernie Klassen expressed “wholehearted support.”

Steven Christie was among those who voiced opposition to more highrises.

“By building a multitude of towers we are creating a shadow of darkness (in the city),” he said.

Bill Buchanan said his biggest concern was related to parking.

“There’s no consideration (given) to visitors coming to see the more than 200 residents and the traffic congestion that could occur. How is this going to impact traffic flow and parking in the area?”

Just Posted

ELECTION QUESTIONS: Does Surrey need its own police force

Who’s on the right side of Surrey RCMP’s contract issue debate? That’s for voters to decide on Oct. 20

Surrey ‘aggressively tackling’ recycling contamination to avoid hefty fines

City council approves contract with Recycle BC that means additional savings from previous deal — if contamination can be reduced

9-year-old girl recovering after dog attack in North Delta

The dog has now been seized by Delta bylaw officers

Surrey man wins $500K, plans to build house, buy toys and ‘nice dinner’

Sukhwinder Sidhu bought winning ticket at store in Newton

Surrey mayoral candidates weigh in on proposed supportive housing in Cloverdale

Gill, Hayne and McCallum oppose the project, in its current location

VIDEO: Story surrounding new playground at Surrey hospital a real ‘tear-jerker’

Dad began planning after his son had surgery in Surrey and he saw too many sad faces

Around the BCHL – Trail Smoke Eater grad to captain NCAA Michigan Tech Huskies

Around the BCHL is a regular look at the BCHL and goings-on throughout the junior A world.

North Delta happenings: week of Sept. 20

Events, courses and clubs listing for North Delta

Final Cloverdale Market Day of the season this Saturday

Vendors, food trucks and more on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Thieves escape after man claims his wife is giving birth

RCMP searching for suspects in brazen daytime break in

Rural Canada Post carriers could see 25-per-cent pay hike: spokesman

An arbitrator has released a ruling in a long-standing pay equity dispute at Canada Post

Seventh day of searching for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts are concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Freeland brings optimism back to NAFTA talks

NAFTA talks resume in Washington

BC Children’s Hospital warns of possible PayPal fraud

Recipients are asked to forward the emails to PayPal

Most Read