News Flash

2018 White Rock News and Announcements

Posted on: May 2, 2018

Save the date for Open Houses & Surveys on the Zoning Bylaw Update

2018-05-22 Zoning Bylaw Update

Let’s talk, White Rock!

Please click on one of the following items for further information regarding the Zoning Bylaw Review project:

Introduction: Share your thoughts and influence your community!

To assist with the implementation of the City of White Rock's new Official Community Plan (adopted October 2017), to address existing issues within the Bylaw, and to respond to emerging issues in the community, the City of White Rock is undertaking a comprehensive update of the White Rock Zoning Bylaw.

Between May 7 and May 21, 2018, we will be asking for input from White Rock residents, property owners, and businesses on a range of topics related to the Zoning Bylaw, through an online survey available on this website. You can register now and the questionnaires will be available beginning on May 7. The City will review the results from the survey, along with further research and analysis, in preparing future changes to the Zoning Bylaw.

Update: All surveys are now live at the Talk White Rock - Zoning Bylaw Update Project link. Be sure to join us at today!


Summary of Topics: What will we be talking about?

The 10 topics in the list below will all have short questionnaires available so that you can share your opinions with us. They can affect how you live, work and play in White Rock, and we want your input:

Each land use topic is described in further detail below!


For the purposes of this survey, a cannabis shop or retail store refers to a business that is involved in the retail sale of recreational (non-medicinal) cannabis, or any products containing or derived from cannabis.

The Federal Government intends to legalize cannabis in Fall 2018 and the Provincial Government has indicated the distribution of cannabis will be through both private and government (operated by BC Liquor Distribution Branch) stores. Further information on the Federal Government's approach to legalization and regulation of recreational cannabis is available on their website at the following link: Further information on the Provincial Government's framework for the distribution and regulation of cannabis is available on their website at the following link:

Medicinal cannabis will continue to be available to patients with Health Canada authorization through online purchasing and direct mail delivery from authorized producers, or through Health Canada authorization to produce for themselves.


For the purposes of this survey, a short-term rental refers to the use of an entire home, or one or more bedrooms within a home, as overnight accommodation for the general public for a period of less than 30 days, with access to cooking facilities. These are also commonly referred to as “AirBnBs” or “accessory vacation rentals.”

This does not include hotels, bed and breakfasts, or boarding rooms within a home where no access to kitchens are provided for guests.

'Accessory vacation rentals' are currently allowed by the White Rock Zoning Bylaw in legal suites as long as they obtain a business licence and meet requirements for parking and other conditions. “Accessory” also means that the vacation rental is not allowed to be the primary use of the property.

A “principal residence” is where you live most of the year and the residential address you use for bills, identification, taxes, and insurance.


For the purposes of this survey, 'accessory dwelling units' means a variety housing types that are attached or detached from the principal (main) residence on a property and registered as legal accessory units.

This includes:

  • secondary suites (accessory registered or 'legal' suites contained within the principal building),
  • coach houses (dwelling detached from the main house), and
  • lock-off suites (separate suites with cooking facilities contained inside a larger duplex, apartment or townhome).


Land in the ‘P-2 Church / Assembly Use Zone’ (“P-2 zone”) in White Rock is typically used by places of worship and child care facilities. The City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) has a policy (11.2.1.e) that states the City will: “support new and affordable rental housing, especially in transit-accessible locations, by … supporting the addition of ancillary rental housing on institutional sites, such as places of worship, where additional development can be accommodated.”

The OCP also allows for residential and accessory commercial uses as part of mixed use developments for properties in the ‘Institutional and Utility’ land use designation.

Allowing accessory ‘rental housing’ in the P-2 zone means allowing rental apartment housing on properties where the main use is for religious, assembly or community service purposes. 

Rental housing may be secured (required to be owned and managed by a single operator for the life of the building) or non-secured (may be stratified and sold to individuals in the future). Rental housing can also be ‘market rental’ (no limits on the rent) or ‘below market’ (rents limited to a specific level).

Some forms of development include a combination of market and non-market rental units in order for the construction and maintenance of the building to be financially viable.


For the purposes of this survey, a licensed manufacturer means a brewery, a distillery or a winery licensed to manufacture in accordance with the Provincial requirements of the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Act and the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Regulation. Currently, they are only permitted to operate in the CR-1 Zone (Town Centre Mixed Use) and the CD-17 Zone (the ‘Saltaire’). There are two licensed manufacturers in White Rock, 3 Dogs Brewing and White Rock Beach Beer Company.

If permitted by zoning, a licensed manufacturer may produce liquor such as craft beer on-site, and provide limited sampling through a tasting room. A licensed manufacturer may also make application to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (after conducting public consultation through the City) to add a lounge area, a permanent patio addition, or increase patron count beyond their original application.


The new Official Community Plan contains several policies related to vehicle parking, including setting the number of electric vehicle charging stations required in new developments (1 for every 10 spaces provided), and noting the City will consider requiring fewer parking spaces for new rental apartments where tenants have good access to transit.

The City wants to manage the parking supply in new developments so that there is not a situation of oversupply (unused parking spaces which are costly to construct and affect affordability) or undersupply (where residents park on the street and occupy spaces depended on by businesses). The OCP also seeks to improve the pedestrian experience in the Town Centre and use land efficiently by redeveloping existing surface parking lots into buildings with underground parking.

The White Rock Zoning Bylaw currently requires 1.2 parking spaces for each unit in a typical apartment building (condo and rental), and an additional 0.3 spaces is required per unit for visitor parking, for a total of 1.5 parking spaces per unit.

By contrast, earlier versions of the Zoning Bylaw only required 1.0 space per unit, whereas some recently approved developments with site-specific zoning (‘Comprehensive Development’ or CD zoning) have proposed as many as 3.0 parking spaces per unit.


To improve food security and enhance residents’ access to the local food system, the new Official Community Plan states the City will continue to support a Farmers’ Market. As an economic development policy, the OCP also states the City will encourage year-round tourist-oriented and community activities such as outdoor markets and street festivals, particularly at the waterfront.

The Farmers’ Market currently at Miramar Village was voted the Best Large Market in by the BC Farmers Market Association in 2015 and has been operating in various locations in the City since 1999.


The new Official Community Plan has several policies that promote food security (i.e. increasing access to fresh and local food) by using land such as parks, rights-of-way (unconstructed roads), boulevards, vacant lots, and private developments for community gardens and other forms of urban agriculture.


The new Official Community Plan supports the efficient use of land to provide social, economic and ecological benefits across the City. This includes policy to encourage more childcare facilities in areas with higher concentrations of housing, including in multi-family and mixed-use areas.

Currently, childcare facilities for more than eight children are only allowed in civic / institutional zones and in one site specific ("comprehensive development" or CD-zone), while childcare facilities for eight or fewer children are allowed in detached residential homes.


To strengthen the waterfront as a year-round destination and amenity, the new Official Community Plan says the City will allow for temporary commercial activity south of Marine Drive as part of City-sanctioned special events and on-going leisure services programming.

This could include:

  • Small-scale, 'pop-up' retail uses
  • Fairs with food and retail vendors, with locally grown produce and prepared foods
  • Equipment rental for water sport activities


How Can I Participate?

We want to hear your thoughts! From May 7 to May 21, we invite all White Rock residents, businesses, and property owners to provide their feedback on these land use topics here at, or to participate at one of our three Open House events.



Join the digital conversation at to have your say on issues that matter to you. Each consultation topic described above has its own survey for you to provide feedback on.

Prefer to provide your feedback in paper form? Visit us at City Hall (15322 Buena Vista Avenue) to use our new online services kiosk upstairs. Paper copies will also be available at the Open Houses, at City facilities, and the White Rock Library.

All surveys will be available from May 7 to May 21. Join the conversation today!


Open Houses

Would you like an opportunity to discuss these topics with staff in person? Join us at our three Open House events – times and places are listed below:

  • Monday, May 7 (Open House on all 10 topics) 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
    White Rock Community Centre 15154 Russell Avenue, White Rock

  • Tuesday, May 8 (Open House on Cannabis) - 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. 
    White Rock Community Centre, 15154 Russell Avenue, White Rock

  • Saturday, May 12 (Open House on all 10 topics) - 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
    White Rock Community Centre 15154 Russell Avenue, White Rock


Any Questions?

If you have any questions regarding the topics, please e-mail the Planning and Development Services Department at or call us at 604-541-2155.

We hope to hear from you soon.

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