LETTERS: Reinterpreting civic ‘change’

Editor: Re: Development permit ‘puts sound studio at risk,’ July 4.


Re: Development permit ‘puts sound studio at risk,’ July 4.

I was sad to read Kelly Breaks’ Blue Frog Studio will be so greatly impacted by White Rock council’s decision to proceed with development ‘change’ that the studio’s ability to function will lead to its “death knell.”

In the same edition of Peace Arch News, I read the article about White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin’s speech to business “movers and shakers” at Morgan Creek Golf Course in Surrey (White Rock mayor defends ‘change’, July 4).

Baldwin is reported to have delivered an enlightened speech about our collective need to accept change, emphasizing his points by using quotes from Socrates, Barack Obama and George Bernard Shaw.

Perhaps the mayor is confused about the meaning of change. The city of towers he is building isn’t change. It is the sameness we see in Metrotown, Coquitlam City Centre or the Cambie Corridor. Towers are not change, they are sameness – cold, impersonal cement buildings that can be found in any North American city.

The obstacle to building a vibrant, beautiful White Rock is an intellectual confusion around what is beautiful and the lack of political will to make that happen. Yes, there is such a thing as beauty. Cities such as Steveston, Fort Langley, San Francisco, Bordeaux and Carmel all have intrinsic beauty.

Our council needs to stop believing that a beautiful city is in the eye of both the keen city planner who is determined to make his mark and the architects, because that is a gift to the wealthy developer who wants to put up a horrible tower.

As Breaks said: “It’s happening all over North America… What’s going to be left is lifeless towers with no arts and culture.”

The good people of White Rock are not resisting change. They are resisting the lack of political will to demand a unique vision for our city by the sea by giving us grey cement sameness and calling it change.

Carol Blacklaws, White Rock

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