White Rock council considered four developments Monday (clockwise from top left): Oviedo Home’s 13-storey plan; Solterra’s 14-storey plan; a waterfront parkade; and Cross’ 12-storey project for the Leela Thai site. Note: image updated; two of the renderings previously pictured were not the versions that were considered by council Monday. (Contributed renderings)

White Rock studio owner ‘at odds’ with city vision, resigns from committee

Kelly Breaks of Blue Frog Studio cites ‘severe impact’ of recently approved highrise projects

A White Rock business owner has quit his position on the city’s cultural advisory committee, citing council’s approval of highrise developments on either side of his Johnston Road business that “will severely impact the future of this arts & culture business.”

In an email Thursday afternoon to city clerk Tracey Arthur that was cc’ed to Peace Arch News, Kelly Breaks – owner of Blue Frog Studios, at 1328 Johnston Rd. – said the decision will impact “the over 30,000 people per year that come to White Rock to enjoy our events.”

“Additionally, these developments will destroy one of the prime City murals by renowned local artist, Elizabeth Hollick,” Break writes. “Our repeated requests to City staff and Council to work with us to minimize and mitigate the effects of these developments have fallen on deaf ears; so much for arts & culture in White Rock.”

Breaks was among more than 50 people who stood to address council in September, at a lengthy public hearing regarding proposals for projects in the 1300-block of Johnston Road – a 14-storey, mixed-used development, and a 12-storey mixed-use development.

The higher project, located immediately north of Blue Frog, was reduced to 12 storeys after the public hearing and was approved by council on a 5-2 vote in late October.

In his email, Breaks notes he has volunteered on the cultural advisory committee for more than five years and has put in “countless hours from my busy schedule to help foster and develop White Rock into a ‘world class’ arts and culture community.”

“I now find myself at odds with the City’s vision for arts & culture. Please accept my resignation from the Cultural Advisory Committee.”

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Solterra VP Mike Bosa addresses council at the September public hearing. (File photo)

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