Submitted graphic A rendering shows how the Lower Johnston Road streetscape will be transformed by the Solterra development.

City of White Rock approves new OCP, 12-storey highrise on Lower Johnston

Height reduced for development at Deals World site

White Rock council has given final reading and adoption to its revised Official Community Plan.

The document was approved without debate Monday night.

At the same meeting, council approved the contentious Solterra mixed-use highrise development for the Deals World site (at 1350 Johnston Rd.), after an adjustment to the final plan that reduces the height to bring it in line with guidelines for the Lower Johnston area in the new OCP.

At the evening meeting, council gave third readings and final adoption to the two bylaws that enable the project – now 12 storeys instead of the 14 storeys presented at the Sept. 12 public hearing – to go forward.

Both votes were 5-2, with Couns. Helen Fathers and David Chesney opposed.

The change to the Solterra plan was submitted to staff just prior to council’s Sept. 18 meeting and consideration of the project was delayed to this Monday as a result.

Reaction to the development voiced at the public hearing ranged from comments that it will revitalize Johnston Road to concerns from Kelly Breaks, owner of the Blue Frog Studios recording and concert venue – located immediately to the south of the site – that his business will be sandwiched between Solterra and the 12-storey Lady Alexandra mixed-use development proposed for 1310 Johnston Rd. (current site of the Leela Thai restaurant and several other businesses).

(An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that council also approved reducing the density by the equivalent of the floorspace of two storeys of the highrise portion of the project, and dropping the number of units from 97 to 85. In fact, council opted not to take Solterra’s offer of a reduced density for the project and only amended the height of the building at the Oct. 23 meeting.)

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