Why would White Rock City Hall permit OCP Changes on the EPCOR Land to allow these two towers to be built?
The regulator has told White Rock that we can buy back our Water Works. We just need to do it. So why change the OCP and let EPCOR sell this 2.67 acre parcel of White Rock for $12 million dollars?
By sticking to the OCP, this land is far less valuable and White Rock will be able to buy it back from EPCOR along with our Water Works at a very reasonable price and be able to maintain it as a park, or develop it later as the city sees fit. To allow these OCP now changes makes no sense.
Is the City “conflicted” in its handling of the approval process for the EPCOR land developers due to the City’s “closed door” negotiations with EPCOR? We all know that the $12,000,000 price tag for 2.67 acres of what for years has been utility land, and as such zoned as “civic/institutional”, would be a “windfall” for EPCOR that only happens if the City provides the necessary approvals. It is not a big stretch to wonder whether this in fact will somehow form a key plank of the City’s EPCOR acquisition negotiating strategy. If this is the case, we will say now that that would be both wholly wrong and inappropriate.
Why would City Council approve this now? The purchase of our water utility from EPCOR is mandated by the regulator and stipulates that we are permitted to buy it. There is no need to give EPCOR this windfall. By keeping the zoning as specified in the OCP, we keep the value of this land low and the city can acquire it cheap from EPCOR. By permitting this change to the OCP, resident’s needs are ignored and EPCOR benefits. Why would the City Council approve this? Do they have something to gain from this that we did not hear about in the closed door sessions? Let’s hope not! That would be a huge conflict of interest. Surely City Council has not forgotten that they serve residents, and not developers and certainly not themselves?!
Residents invest their money in their homes, expecting the OCP will protect their investment. Every time city council allows an exception for another Tower or Monster home, their our violating the trust expected of local governments to serve residents and protect their investments and their community. Our schools, roads, and hospitals are already bursting at the seems, and our Policing and Fire Fighting costs keep going up as we add more density. This has got to stop before we become another Whalley or Newton or Richmond. Our little city by the Sea should not be For-Sale to the highest bidder. We need growth and development, but it needs to be sustainable and well planned.
Public Information Meeting for the proposed development of two 21 and 24 story high rise towers, high density development at 1454 Oxford Street (EPCOR Land) Wednesday, April 9th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM in the United Church at 15385 Semiahmoo Avenue in White Rock. Be there!