WHITE ROCK — Following a lengthy public hearing over whether or not coach houses are appropriate for White Rock, council defeated a proposed development for North Bluff Road.
The properties in question are located at 14022 and 14034 North Bluff Rd., and were up to be subdivided into four lots that would fit two coach houses and two residential units each.
Those opposed to the project, many of which were neighbours, said the project would add too much density to the already crowded area and wondered if White Rock would be headed in the direction of certain parts of Surrey if approved.
"White Rock needs density, but we can choose to do it well or do it badly," said Suzie Charette, who lives beside the proposed development.
Citing Vancouver's False Creek as density done well, Charette went on to say that there simply aren't enough amenities in the area to support this sort of density housing, and likened the proposal to the "favelas" in Newton and other parts of Surrey.
"Fifty years ago Surrey converted from pasture into trailer parks without services to support it," Charette said. "There are coach house favelas in Newton, overflowing cars indicate inadequate transit to support density, no one wants to live (there)."
Other opponents cited similar concerns, saying the laneway was not suitable for coach houses.
However, property owner Milt James said this was a project the city should have looked at as a new concept for the future of the city as it offered something other than condos for potential home buyers.
"Coach houses are a new concept in White Rock, and the lane is such you can use a new concept there," James said.
"Anything you haven't had before doesn't sound too good. This is a new idea and I think coach houses could come to help White Rock a lot more.
People can't stick to condos all their life."
Coun. Louise Hutchinson said if you're going to densify anywhere it should be on a transit route.
"This town is not yet ready for coach house development nor does it need it," she said. "The neighbours have spoken loud and clear and we're bent on protecting our neighbourhoods. Of the proposal, it is the coach houses I could not support."
© Copyright 2013