White Rock council is to consider obtaining legal opinion on a revised motion from Coun. David Chesney to place a moratorium on new high-rise development calling for zoning changes or OCP amendments until after this October’s civic election. File photo

Highrise moratorium back on White Rock council agenda

Coun. David Chesney said he was only seeking legal opinion of revised motion

Last week’s motion from White Rock Coun. David Chesney – calling for a moratorium on highrise and multiple residence applications in the city until after October’s civic election – is back before council, in modified form, for the June 11 meeting.

It’s now on the agenda as a motion for council to direct staff to get a legal opinion on the revised version.

When last discussed, at council’s May 28 meeting, the original motion called for council to endorse “a moratorium on all development and building permits pertaining to all and any multiple-residence applications until after the upcoming civic election… Oct. 20.”

At that meeting Chesney was told by city administrator Dan Bottrill – at the prompting of Mayor Wayne Baldwin – that such a motion would be “ultra vires, or outside the law.

Bottrill said that any property owner compliant with the zoning bylaw and the OCP, and who wishes to bring forward a development application, or submit a building permit would be entitled to do so.

“In fact, if we didn’t process building permits it would lead to some litigation, liability and compensation,” he said.

Chesney withdrew the motion, but told Peace Arch News Friday that he remains unconvinced that it is illegal for council to impose a moratorium of any kind on new development.

“I revised the wording so that it specifies development that requires zoning changes or OCP amendments – since those were the two points that were belaboured to me by Mr. Bottrill and the mayor.”

Chesney said he was surprised to see the revision appear as a notice of motion, since he submitted it to staff this week to see if he could get a legal opinion on it from the city solicitor.

“The fact that our CAO was unwilling to forward it to the city solicitor strikes me as a little strange,” he said.

Bottrill could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Chesney said he also finds it strange that, with five or six days notice of the original motion, and all during the process of putting together the council agenda, that “Bottrill and Baldwin did not say ‘this is illegal – we need to get hold of Coun. Chesney to let him know.’

“It’s been said, by others, that it was somewhat of a set-up,” he said.

While Chesney said he is convinced the new motion will be rejected in a 5-2 vote on Monday evening, he added that he still feels bound to do what he can to slow the current pace of development in the city, which has become a talking point for some city residents.

“I have to – I have to look at myself in the mirror,” he said.

“There are are people who want to continue to push forward development, and I believe there could be a couple of very contentious projects coming up that are going to make this city’s head spin,” he said. “My concern is that, as the house is burning down to the ground, council could well push a couple more through.”

Just Posted

Final skate at former ‘Stardust’ rink in Surrey this Saturday

Central City Arena is closing to make way for tower development

Mixed emotions on Surrey’s Strip as homeless begin moving into modular units

Some in the area are hopeful as 160 transitional homes open, while others say the plan is ‘containment, not a solution’

Langley area curlers: ‘Great’ ambassadors of the sport

Several athletes who play out of Langley Curling Centre were lauded for efforts on and off the ice.

Surrey mayor’s state of city address back on at Sheraton

New date for mayor’s fourth annual address, hosted by the Surrey Board of Trade, is September 19

Cloverdale’s June Market Days to be bigger than ever

More than 90 vendors will line 176 Street for event this Saturday

VIDEO: In Surrey, ‘The Magic Flute’ opera has makings of ‘modern-day superhero movie’

Show director Dolores Scott raves about young talent in weekend production at Surrey Arts Centre

B.C. RCMP looking for $70,000 in stolen collector cash

Money, in Canadian and Chinese denominations, goes missing in Chilliwack

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read