Friday, September 28, 2012

Local Government in BC

This week the UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) hosted its annual convention in Victoria. The UBCM was founded in 1905 and lobbies the provincial and federal government on behalf of local governments in BC. Besides lobbying, the UBCM is also responsible for disbursing funds from programs like the federal gas tax refund to local governments. The UBCM gets its direction from resolutions passed at its annual conferences. The resolution that generated the most buzz this years was to “call on appropriate government to decriminalize marijuana and research the regulation and taxation of marijuana.” The UBCM has a list of over 200 resolutions that delegates voted on this year and the list really got me thinking about the role of government in my daily life.

One of the things I’ve been noticing lately is that the further removed a government gets from the provisioning of on-the-ground services, the more likely it is to be run by ideology. I think the perfect example is the marijuana issue. The federal government has a get-tough-on-crime, prohibitionist ideology and you can see how its policies are reflective of that. The federal government is so far removed from the daily running of our cities that they can hold their ideology without dealing with the consequences. It is the provincial government that must pay for the prisons that get-tough-on-crime requires and local government that must pay for the policing costs and deal with the social fall-out. Local government must be more pragmatic than the feds and that is why they have realized that “marijuana prohibition is a failed policy which has cost millions of dollars in police, court, jail and social costs.” If we want to reduce drug usage, we need to look at other ways of doing it.

Other issues that I find important are around transportation, land-use, and the environments. Again, the federal government can hold the ideology of “drill baby, drill!”, but it is local government and its citizens that must deal with the “devastating and long lasting effects on British Columbia’s unique and diverse coast, which provides critical marine habitat and marine resources that sustain the social, cultural, environmental and economic health of coastal and First Nations communities.” When it comes to transportation and land-use, local governments know that active transportation and transit are critical for long-term sustainability and prosperity, yet provincial and federal governments continue to spend billions on highways and pennies on cycling and walking. Again it is local government that must deal with the consequence that congestion and pollution have on its citizens.

When reading over the UBCM’s Resolution Book, most of the issues deal with things that directly impact people’s daily lives and are less coloured by ideology than other levels of government. I think that is why I get excited about local government: it is relevant, impacts the daily lives of people, and deals with issues not ideology. Local government makes our lives better. If the federal government shutdown for a week you might be inconvenienced, but if local government shutdown for a week you’re world would come to a grinding halt.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Traffic Lights and Roundabouts in Langley

One of the interesting things that I’ve noticed in Langley is that people demand traffic lights in areas where they might not be warranted. There is a new set of lights at Old Yale Road and Fraser Highway in the City and other random lights on 16th Avenue in the Township. I was heading to the US with some friends the other day and we got talking about how the Township likes its random traffic lights, most of which were installed for political reasons.

The interesting thing about traffic lights is that when you signalize an intersection, you actually make it more dangerous. Peer-reviewed studies show that a safer form of intersection is actually the roundabout as it can decreases accident risk by 44%. Roundabouts also decrease GHG emissions. So the question is why are we still installing traffic lights left, right, and centre instead of installing roundabouts? In older parts of town where space is limited a signalize intersection makes sense, but installing traffic lights should be the last resort for any other intersection.

So next time someone demands a traffic light be installed, just remember that it will actually make things worse from a human health and safety standpoint.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Urban Futures Survey 2012

I received the following press release that I'd like to share. I've done the survey and invite you to do the same. Apparently not enough people from Langley has responded.

September 24, 2012 -- Vancouver, BC – Langley residents have a new way to make their voices heard on issues such as residential development at Trinity Western University through the 2012 Metro Vancouver Urban Futures Survey, the online version of a historic survey that has been instrumental in shaping the way lower mainland municipalities have managed growth.

This is the third chapter of the survey, which was first conducted in 1973. It helped set Vancouver on its path toward environmental protection, planning, protection of open space and a transit-oriented transportation system.

“The first Urban Futures Survey gave us as decision-makers the confidence to pursue policies that might have otherwise been dismissed as impractical, Utopian or too costly,” said former Vancouver mayor and former BC premier Mike Harcourt.

In 1990, the survey was updated. Once again, concerns over air and water pollution topped the list. Policy makers responded with AirCare, upgrades to wastewater treatment plants, and a doubling of our region’s park land.

To take the survey, Metro Vancouver residents must first verify their home address by registering with PlaceSpeak. The survey takes approximately 22 minutes to complete and can be found at urbanfuturessurvey.com.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Paying lip service to active transportation

With all the issues around active transportation (walking, cycling, transit) funding in Metro Vancouver, I’ve been wondering if our elected officials and their inner-circles actually believe that an active transportation network should be a key part of our transportation system.

I was at a political event two weekends ago and bumped into a road builder. We got into a chat about transportation in Metro Vancouver and he told me that the automobile would always be the dominant form of transportation in our region. I mentioned stats about places like Downtown Vancouver where active transportation is king and was told that Vancouver is different. Vancouver is different because over the last 20 years, it has focused on building an active transportation network with land-uses that complement. Any municipality in Metro Vancouver could do the same.

This brings me to last weekend were I was at another political event. I got talking about bike lanes. The person I was talking to mentioned that she’d never seen anyone on a bike lane in Abbotsford. We got into a chat and in the end both agreed that off-street and separated bike lanes were the solution to attracting more people to cycling, but she didn’t believe that cycling could be a viable form of commuting for most people. I had another chat with a different person about how, in 2010, a senior MOTI planner told me that after the Gateway Program the Ministry would essential be a public transit infrastructure delivery agency. A lot has changed since then as I was told that there were other priority now like replacing the Massey Tunnel.

While those with power to affect our transportation system give lip service to public transit and active transportation, I think that they don't truly believe that it is a viable forms of transportation for the majority of people in our region. Some politicians get it and most planners get it, but in the South of Fraser I feel like the car will be king until we get people in power that understand the link between transportation and land use, and the benefits that comes from building an active transportation network.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Downtown Langley Retail Trade Study

One of the things that I’ve been saying for a while is that the City of Langley’s Downtown Core needs to become more focused on attracting people within a walking or cycling distance. This means that Downtown Langley should stop trying to compete with the likes of Willowbrook Mall and other regional retail centres. The City of Langley recently released a retail trade area analysis which seems to confirm that the local trade area for Downtown Langley is the City of Langley itself. The City of Langley is a pretty small community and you can walk from one end to another in about 30 – 40 minutes.

The study also notes that the City should encourage “and support additional residential development density in the City of Langley” which will be key to increasing the local service area for Downtown Langley. Besides focusing on density the study suggests that Langley’s Downtown needs to distinguish itself from other retail areas. The report spends a good amount of time talking about food trucks and pop-up retail, which is temporary small-space retail, and how they should be a key part of Downtown Langley's future. Overall, Downtown Langley needs to focus on creating a great pedestrian-friendly space where local people want to hang out.

One of the odd recommendations in the study was for the Downtown merchants to validate or pay the Golden Ears Bridge tolls for people coming in from Maple Ridge. While this is an interesting idea, I have to wonder why someone from Maple Ridge would come to Downtown Langley when they could go to Haney.

One of the interesting things that this study mentions is that Willowbrook Mall will likely be expanding to add a high-street as well as mixed-use. TransLink is also planning on building a new bus loop at Willowbrook. This should be a wake-up call to Downtown Langley that it needs to stop competing with the auto-oriented mall and focus on becoming a unique, pedestrian-friendly, and local retail area. If the Downtown is successful at that, people will come from the regional retail area to experience a genuine Downtown. A win-win.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Crash Rates in the Township of Langley

I was looking over last Monday’s Township of Langley Afternoon Council Agenda and came across a report on collision rates at intersections in the Township over the last 5 years. I suggest you take a look starting on page 69. Not surprisingly the higher the volume of traffic, the more collisions that there are though the collision rate adjusts for volume. Here is a list of the top 10 intersections with the highest collision rates:

HWY 1 at 264TH ST
Rate: 10.67
Jurisdiction: MOTI

HWY 1 at 232ND ST
Rate: 10.55
Jurisdiction: MOTI

208TH ST at 88TH AVE
Rate: 6.75
Jurisdiction: TOL

264TH ST at 0 AVE
Rate: 6.72
Jurisdiction: MOTI

264TH ST at 56TH AVE
Rate: 5.32
Jurisdiction: MOTI

64TH AVE 200TH ST
Rate: 5.13
Jurisdiction: TOL

72ND AVE at 200TH ST
Rate: 5.11
Jurisdiction: TOL

200TH ST at 88TH AVE
Rate: 4.70
Jurisdiction: MOTI

264TH ST at FRASER HWY
Rate: 4.46
Jurisdiction: MOTI

200TH ST OFFRAMP at HWY 1
Rate: 4.31
Jurisdiction: MOTI

The full list contains 125 intersections and the MOTI has jurisdiction over 16% of them. When looking at the top 10 intersections, the MOTI has jurisdiction over 50% of them. This is amazing when you consider the MOTI only operates three roads in the Township: Highway 1, 10 (Glover Rd), and 13 (264th St). The MOTI is in the business of building high-speed roads that only serve the auto. When looking over the top 10 list, the Township owned roads are also very much auto-oriented.

Building a transportation system that is auto-oriented is not only bad for sustainability, but is also more dangerous. I'm sure planners have known for decades that higher-speed, auto-oriented corridors have a higher crash rate than multimodal corridors, yet we continue to build a dangerous transportation network. I have to wonder when people will realize that we need to shift our transportation system from a dangerous auto-oriented network to safer multimodal network.

MOTI = Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Stealing from Peter to Pay Paul: TransLink's Base Plan

I had to laugh when I saw the headlines yesterday that TransLink “found” $98 million to expand transit in the region. I had to laugh, so I won’t cry because the reality is that TransLink didn’t find any new money, but basically stole from Peter to pay Paul for some key political transit projects. But first to the numbers, TransLink's draft base plan reallocates $41 million per year by basically reducing service reliability in general, and reducing service on under-performing routes while increasing service on high-performing routes. For example if the 99 B-Line or 502 is overcrowded, TransLink will reduce service on a community shuttle route or a route like the 341 to provide increased service on the "efficient" routes. Of course this will lead to even more transit inequality in our region and won’t grow transit ridership.

There are a few political transportation projects that are still going forward: the Evergreen Line, the King George B-Line, and Highway 1 Rapid Bus. While it’s good to know that the Evergreen Line is funded, the King George B-Line will be a truncated route from Guildford to Newtown, and the Highway 1 Rapid Bus will not be what was originally envisioned.

The Highway 1 Bus service will run on a similar service frequency as the 501 (10 minute peak service, 30 minutes off-peak service) and will only run from the 202 Street Park and Ride to Braid Station. This is hardly the kind of transit service that will cause a mode shift and build sustainable communities, but politicians can say a bus is going over the new Port Mann.

The cold hard reality is that transit is going to suck in Metro Vancouver with this base plan. I wonder if this is what the Minister of Transportation, the mayors, and the TransLink Commissioner were hoping for when they shot TransLink in the kneecaps earlier this year by removing its ability to raise new revenue. The kicker about this base plan is that it can actually become worse if the mayors rescind the two-year temporary property tax increase because more service will be on the chopping block.

As we stand today, our region is no longer on track to building a sustainable transportation system or meeting the goals of the Provincial Transit Plan. While politicians who don’t regularly take transit continue to play a game of chicken with transit funding, the region suffers. Transit users truly are second class citizens in BC.

The reality is that if we want to ensure the economy stability and future sustainability of our region, we need to increase transit service not optimize it to death. I’m hopeful that politicians will get their collective acts together and increase transit funding because there is going to be a lot of upset people and groups if this base plan is implemented.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Change coming to Langley Mall in Downtown Langley

The largest parking lot in Downtown Langley is at the Casino and the second largest parking lot is at the Langley Mall. It looks like that parking lot might get smaller because First Capital Reality, who owns the mall, is looking at redeveloping a small section of the site. According to the latest council package, the company is looking at adding 3,100 sq. feet of office and/or retail, plus a coffee shop to the 1970’s strip mall. The City of Langley has identified the mall site for “significant redevelopment opportunities” as part of its Downtown Master Plan. I hope this proposed addition to the northwest corner of the site will be true to the spirit of the plan. I know that the last coffee shop in the Downtown Zone (Starbucks at Valley Centre) has a drive thru which does create a good public realm, so let’s hope this trend doesn't continue at Langley Mall. I haven’t seen a render of this proposed addition, but I will post one as soon as I can get my hands on one.

The 1970’s Langley Mall in the Heart of Downtown Langley

First Capital Reality owns mostly strip malls in BC, but they do operate the mixed-use development at New Westminster SkyTrian. The Langley Mall site has huge development potential as a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly node in the Downtown core and I really hope that City council won’t allow anything less.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Going Electric: Streetcars and Interurbans in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley

The Burnaby Village Museum will be hosting an all-day event on Saturday, September 29th in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Interurban 1223 tram. The event starts at 11:30am with a talk from legendary historian of the BC Electrical Railway Henry Ewert and end with a talk by me on the streetcar renaissance in North America. Please check out the Burnaby Village Museum’s website for more information and to register for one or all of the talks and events. I promise to have a pretty PowerPoint.

The B.C. Electric Railway in Burnaby with Henry Ewert 11:30am-12:15pm
Restoration Open House and Brown Bag Lunch 12:15-1:15pm
Richmond's Interurban Railway 1:15-2pm
Streetcar Revival 2:15-3pm

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tolling in Metro Vancouver

This afternoon, the Province will be announcing the toll rates for the new Port Mann Bridge. The original plan was for the toll to be around the $3 per crossing range with some viability based on the time-of-day. It is widely expected that the Province will announce a reduced toll for the first year or so until the bridge is 100% in service. I received a few calls from the media about my views on tolls and the South of Fraser perspective.

Most people I’ve talked to who live in Langley and Surrey realize that tolling is needed to pay for infrastructure, but they feel that as a sub-region we are being unfairly tolled while the rest of the region gets a “free ride”. Why for example are both the new Golden Ears Bridge and Port Mann Bridge tolled, while the new Pitt River Bridge is “free”? It is also likely that the new Pattullo Bridge will be tolled as well. As bridges are the most expensive pieces of transportation infrastructure per kilometre in Metro Vancouver and benefit the whole region, it would be fairer if all Provincially and TransLink owned crossed became tolled. This would allow for a lower toll at all crossings (instead of the Port Mann and Golden Ears costing $3 per trip, all crossing in Metro Vancouver would cost $1 to $1.50 per trip.) This money could be used to pay for the improvement of our transportation system in Metro Vancouver. Besides helping pay for infrastructure, tolling also helps manage demand.

Throughout North America and the world, variable tolling is used to give people cues on when is the best time to travel. For example in Seattle, the SR 520 Bridge costs $3.59 during peak periods, $2.31 mid-day, and is free at night and the early morning. Variable tolling has been shown to reduce congestion and this must be parts of any tolling program in Metro Vancouver. Of course the real issue with transportation in the South of Fraser is giving people an alternative to driving.

While the Province has promised that there will be bus service across the Port Mann when it opens, there will be no money to build the transit network to connect to this new rapid bus service. Also, the Port Mann bus will only go through Walnut Grove and Fraser Heights, and won’t actually give transportation choice to the majority of people in the South of Fraser. Regional tolling must go hand-in-hand with investment in public transit otherwise tolling will be seen as nothing more than a cash grab.

Tolling is good transportation policy to pay for infrastructure and managing demand, but only when investment is concurrently made in public transit.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Township of Langley and Metro Vancouver Update

Earlier this year, the Township of Langley and Metro Vancouver got into a disagreement over the proposed Trinity Western University District which includes the controversial Wall Financial Corporation residential development. Over the summer, the Township of Langley and Metro Vancouver exchanged a few letters. I reviewed the letters and it seems that Metro Vancouver believes that the Township of Langley is under the new Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) which includes the urban growth boundary, while the Township believes it is still under the older and weaker Livable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP.) The Township believes the University District is consistent with the LRSP while Metro does not believe it is consistent with the LRSP or the RGS. The follow excerpt from an August 27th Metro Vancouver memo sums up Metro’s position on the District:

-The proposed OCP amendment would allow residential, commercial, cultural, and assembly uses that are not consistent with the measures to protect the Green Zone prescribed in the Township’s existing RCS for the proposed lands.
-The area defined as “University District” does not match the area defined as “Special Study Area” in Metro Vancouver’s RGS.
-Except for Trinity Western University’s existing footprint, most of the proposed “University District” is outside the Urban Containment Boundary defined in the RGS.
-The land use permitted in the proposed “University District” would only be appropriate inside the RGS Urban Containment Boundary which in turn could only be achieved by amending the RGS.
-The Township’s existing RCS explicitly refer to minimum lot sizes of 8 ha for rural area lands that are designated “Agriculture/Countryside” and 1.7 ha for lands designated “Small Farms/Country Estate.” The new minimum lot size proposed for a portion of the “University District” is 0.03 ha

Metro Vancouver strongly recommended that the Township of Langley basically get Metro Vancouver Board approval for this project to proceed by essentially amending the RGS. It seems like the University District will be in limbo for the next little while and I wonder if there will be legal action.

This whole hoopla got Township Council upset and they threatened to leave Metro Vancouver. While this is most likely nothing more than hot air, the Township plans to commission a new $40,000 to $60,000 study to see if the Township is receiving a net benefit by being in Metro Vancouver and TransLink. This study was originally done in 2000 and found that the Township was better off in Metro Vancouver with TransLink service and was getting a net benefit.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Charleston Place - Public Hearing Tonight

Charleston Place - Artist Drawing. Click Image to Enlarge

Charleston Place - 3D Rendering. Click Image to Enlarge

Tonight at Langley City Hall, there will be a public hearing on the rezoning application for the proposed 15-storey, mixed-use Charleston Place building. The proposed development will be at the intersection of Industrial Avenue and 203rd Street and if approved will be replacing a run-down looking building that currently hosts a night club. The public hearing package contains many drawings for the project and I’ve included a few on this post.

What excites me about this project is that it will be the first high-rise building in the City and will include ground level retail to the curb. When I looked at the first renderings of the project, I was concerned that it would be like some of the mixed-use projects in the Township where there is a parking lot fronting the building. I’m pleased that all parking will be enclosed within the building. The renderings are a bit deceiving because the parking lot that is in them is for the strip mall that is across the street. Another interesting thing about this proposed project is that it will include a 7-storey parkade that appears to blend in with the office component of the building. If done right, you shouldn't be able to tell that there is above-ground parking (though I think underground parking best.) I’m happy to see the project also includes bike parking.

I’ve had some people tell me that they aren’t too keen about the architectural style of the building, but for me the architectural style isn't as important as things like ground-level retail and enclosed parking. While I’m sure we’ll see other architectural styles in the City, I’m hoping that this project will set the bar higher for the type of development that should occur in Downtown Langley: mixed-use and pedestrian friendly with no large parking lots. If this project is approved, it will hopefully be the start of the transformation of Downtown Langley's public realm into a great pedestrian-friendly urban space.

Charleston Place - Building Cross-Section. Click Image to Enlarge

Charleston Place - Main Floor Plan. Click Image to Enlarge

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sustainability Bylaw in the Township

At the last Township of Langley Council Meeting in July, Councillor Kim Richter submitted the following motion that will be discussed at this coming Monday evening's council meeting.

Whereas the Sustainability Charter is an important policy direction for the future of the Township of Langley;

Whereas the time has come to operationalize this policy direction as much as possible in terms of new development in the Township of Langley;

Therefore be it resolved that Council ask staff to report back on how to amend existing development bylaws and regulations to ensure that new development in the Township of Langley includes such sustainability features as:

a) LEED certification;
b) Green roofs;
c) Living walls;
d) Permeable pavement;
e) Electric car plug-ins;
f) Electric car recharging stations;
g) Gray water systems; and
h) Other aquifer recharge systems.

While I support this motion and the energy reduction that would results from the potential policy changes, the largest source of GHG is from the transportation sector in BC. Commercial and residential buildings are responsible for about 11% of BC's GHG profile, the transportation sector accounts for 36%. Also electric cars only shift the issue of energy use from the gas station to the coal or natural gas powered electrical plant.

The real issue that the Township has to deal with is building communities that give people transportation choice, so they don't have to drive a car. The saying goes that the best sustainable transportation plan is a sustainable land-use plan. If the Township wants to get serious about sustainability, it will need to get serious about building walkable, mixed-use neighbourhoods and give more thought to where it approves single-family houses and strip malls.

Councillor Richter's motion is a good one, but without a strong land-use plan I don't think it will be truly effective in reducing the largest source of GHG in Langley.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Motordom on the Langley Bypass

New Auto Mall and Strip Mall on Glover Road and Langley Bypass

One of the things that I have an issue with in the City of Langley is the type of development allowed to be built along the Langley Bypass. If you ever drive or dare to walk along the Bypass, you’ll see some of the worst examples of auto-oriented development in the Metro Vancouver. Some of the reasons I hear why the Langley Bypass is so uninspiring is that either this type of development is “temporary” and will be replaced with something better in the future or that the Ministry of Transportation will only allow this style of development. Both these reasons are really just excuses because I believe we can build things better. I full understand that the automobile must be accommodated in Langley, but not at the expense of sustainability, livability and good urban design.

The latest intersection to get the “Bypass” treatment is Glover Road at the Langley Bypass. Where there was once a field, the City of Langley has approved a gas station on one corner, auto dealership on the other corner, and an auto-mall/strip mall on the third corner. The final corner is already a hotel and restaurant. Glover Road is designated as a Gateway Street to Downtown Langley, yet the City has approved developments that make Glover Road no different than the Langley Bypass, and certainly not a gateway to Downtown Langley.

The icing on the cake for me was the approval and subsequent installation of two 4-storey Las Vegas-style signs that are actually taller than the apartments right beside the auto mall on Glover Road. While most municipalities in Metro Vancouver and indeed Canada have sign bylaws that restrict these types of signs, it seems that the City of Langley is embracing these signs which are a throw-back to the mid-twenty century auto-orient suburban “boulevard” which other cities like Surrey (think King George Boulevard in Whalley) are try to correct. It will be interesting to see if we’ll see more of these mega-signs in Langley.

Four-Storey Auto Mall Sign on Glover Road. (Four-Storey Apartment, Left Background)

The City of Langley has missed its last opportunity in the near future to building something lasting, urban, and elegant that connects the Langley Bypass area to Downtown Langley creating a truly welcoming gateway to Downtown. I can only hope that the City of Langley will start to apply more pedestrian-friendly and sustainable development standards for the rest of the City, and the Langley Bypass when it starts to redevelop in the future. Surely we can design communities that embrace transportation diversity with a great public realm.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bring the Village back to Fort Langley

I came across the website of a proposed project called the Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley. The project is located on the site of the old IGA that burned down and is currently a temporary parking lot at the corner of Glover Road and Mavis Avenue. For some history about the site and the replaced IGA store, please check out my earlier post. But, from what I’ve seen of the Coulter Berry Building proposal, I have to say that I’m impressed.

The original plan was to build some shops/offices on the site of the old IGA which was OK, but it wasn’t anything special. The old plan also included a rather large surface parking lot. I was told that the original plan was going to be developed by the Lee family who own the IGA, but has since been purchased by Fort Langley resident Eric Woodward. The new plans for this important corner truly bring the "village" back to the village of Fort Langley.

The new building, which is mixed-use, includes shops on the ground level, office space on the second level, and 10 new residential units. The building will even include a two level restaurant with a rooftop patio. What’s truly impressive about this project is that it includes underground parking an only has 9 surface parking spaces. That’s a huge expense for a three-story building and something that most developers wouldn’t do. To top that off the project also includes 20 bike parking spaces (which puts TransLink's new Park and Ride to shame) and a public washroom. The design of the building is impressive too.

Coulter Berry Building - View from Mavis Ave and Lane

Coulter Berry Building - View from Glover Road

Coulter Berry Building 1st Floor Site Plan

Besides doing everything right by providing a truly mixed-use and pedestrian friendly building, the project also embraces and gives a sense of place to the back alley with retail units that front it. I think it will create a kind of cool space that we don’t have a lot of in Langley. On the topic of sense-of-place, with both shops, offices, and a restaurant, the building will have pedestrian traffic from morning until night which will make Fort Langley feel that much more alive, especially outside of “tourist” season. The building's fa├žade also pays homage to Fort Langley history and will fit right in with the rest of the community. The nice finishing touch to this project is the restaurant patio that also provides a nice step down in height to blend in with the existing buildings on Glover.

It’s not too often that you see a project this impressive in Langley and most of the plans I’ve seen in the last little while for other projects disappoint. The project will be presented to Council in the fall and I can only hope that they allow it to proceed. I’ve heard that there are some in the community that are opposed for some reason, but I hope Township Council will see past the opposition and see how impressive this project is and approve it. We certainly need more Coulter Berry-type buildings in Langley and less of the uninspiring, pedestrian-unfriendly, auto-oriented commercial development that I see so often approved in the Township.

For more information on the project, check out its website.