Sometimes, I get a bit disappointed when I see some of the development projects that are being approved and built in the Township of Langley. While the community has a Sustainability Charter and in theory believes in the transportation hierarchy of walking, cycling, transit, then driving, far too often development projects are still being built for cars and not people in the Township. The perfect example of this is the mixed-use projects around 202nd Street in Walnut Grove that front the street with large surface parking lots.
Last night, I attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the Coulter Berry building project in Fort Langley. This is one project that excites me. This project is truly mixed-used with commercial and residential units. More importantly, the building has ground-level retail the fronts the streets and very minimal surface parking tucked away in the back of the building (the vast majority of parking is provided underground.) The project is designed to put people first. Further, I believe that the Coulter Berry Building will help reinforce Fort Langley as a people-oriented village and strengthen the traditional “Main Street” feel of the commercial core of the community.
One of the things that I was encourage to hear (if not a bit ironic considering Township Council’s track record of approving auto-oriented projects) was to hear Mayor Jack Froese talking about how impressed he was with the Coulter Berry building and its commitment to LEED Gold, street-front retail, and underground parking. I hope that the Coulter Berry building will set the bar higher for development projects in the Township, and that Council will require more projects to put people first in the community.
I took a few pictures from the ground-breaking ceremony which are included below. I look forward to seeing this project completed.