Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Council Approves Development Permit for New Industrial Buildings on Production Way

Rendering of proposed project, view from Production Way. Select the image to enlarge.

Recently, Langley City has seen an increase in redevelopment applications in our Production Way industrial area, which is bound by 56th Avenue, 200th Street, and the Langley Bypass. Last night, Council issued a development permit to enable creating a 2-building, 104,205 sq. ft./9,681 m2 industrial development at 5721 Production Way. Development permits govern the form and character of a project, not the height, use, or setbacks.

Langley City's Advisory Design Panel, which reviews most development proposals, provided feedback on suggested changes to the original development permit application as follows:

  • Improve pedestrian access and safety into and within the site.
  • Increase porous surfaces within the site.
  • Update the signage, including keeping the signs on Production Way to a human scale.
  • Increase the landscaping within the City right-of-way to mimic the curve of the proposed sidewalk.
  • Provide more large-canopy and additional coniferous trees.
  • Provide rain shelter/shade structures in outdoor break areas.
  • Provide more secure visitor bicycle parking.
  • Review site large-vehicle maneuverability for safety.
  • Provide more design interest on the building roofs.
  • Ensure sufficient soil volumes for all trees.
  • Update landscape to ensure fire hydrant viability.

Besides changing the buildings' roof designs, the applicant incorporated all the suggested improvements of the Advisory Design Panel.

Council thanked the applicant for incorporating the Advisory Design Panel recommendations.

Council received one written letter from Westman Steel Industries, which is adjacent to the proposed project. They fully supported the project but had some specific construction-related and water-management concerns. Langley City staff told Council that the applicant would respond to Westman Steel Industries to address their concerns.

Monday, February 26, 2024

The BCFED Calls on the Province to Massively Invest in Transit Service

BC Transit Bus in Downtown Agassiz

Last week, the BC Federation of Labour released a report called “Connecting BC: A Ten-Year Vision and Investment Plan for Public Transit throughout BC.” The report’s authors called on the provincial government to make a generational investment in public transit. This investment into transit will help strengthen the economy, provide good jobs, and help the province meet its climate action goals.

The following is a summary of the proposed investments.

  • Build a province-wide, intercity express bus network to replace Greyhound service lost in 2018.
  • Outside of Metro Vancouver, double local transit service within the next five years and triple the service over the next decade.
  • Expand HandyDART service province-wide.
  • Develop new regional rail connections across the South Coast and Vancouver Island.
  • Add new passenger ferry options between Vancouver, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.
  • Accelerate TransLink’s 10-year Access for Everyone plan for Metro Vancouver.
  • Expand existing free transit programs to youth aged 13 to 18.
  • Create a province-wide fare payment system for local, intracity, rail, and ferry transit services.

The capital projects in the report total $15.4 billion. The authors also call on the province to increase its ongoing operating financial support, about $350 million today for public transit, to $1.5 billion over the next ten years.

For more information, please read the full report.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Langley City's Crime Prevention Committee Calls for Secure Bike Parking

If you've been to Downtown Langley, you will see that we have various designs of bike racks, from whimsical to practical, on the street and around Timms Community Centre. There are also chain-linked bike parking spots in the Timms Community Centre parkade.

Langley City's volunteer-led Crime Prevention Committee noted the current bike rack and parking may not be the most secure and called on Langley City Council to look into installing modern, secure bike parking around Timms Community Centre. Council supported this recommendation and asked City staff to prepare a report with proposed locations, style, and cost of installing secure bike parking. With the massive adoption of e-bikes, which can be expensive, there must be a safe place to park the bikes in our downtown area.

Example of multi-point lock bike racks. Select the image to enlarge.

Example of bike storage lockups. Select the image to enlarge.

In Kelowna, they have excellent bike parking throughout their downtown. I'd like to see more of it throughout Langley City, including in strip malls.

Many people attend Community Day and other events downtown, but again, there is limited opportunity to securely park bikes due to the sheer volume of people attending. The Crime Prevention Committee asks if, for Earth Day or Community Day, the City could consider assigning space around Douglas Park to support a volunteer Bike Valet, as you see at many events throughout Metro Vancouver. Langley City Council supported this request.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

February 12 Council Notes: Contaminated Soil Increases Project Cost 21%, Accepting Gifts, Invasive Mussels

In May 2023, Langley City Council approved awarding a $4,156,715.00 tender to McDonald & Ross Construction Ltd. The tender was for renewing the:

  • Watermain, sanitary sewer, and storm sewer along 56 Avenue from 200 Street to 203 Street
  • Traffic signal at the 56 Avenue & 201A Street intersection
  • Watermain on Park Avenue

At last Monday's Langley City Council meeting, City staff asked Council to increase the tender by $898,500.

The construction company must remove and dispose of soil as part of the project. At the start of the project last year, the company found that the soil's chloride (salt) levels exceeded new provincial regulations, making the soil "contaminated material," significantly increasing disposal costs. The new disposal cost is $638,569.32. City staff also recommend an additional $240,664.22 contingency. These changes increase the overall tender from $4.2 million to $5.1 million, or a 21% increase.

Council had a robust discussion with City staff on this increase, including asking that City staff implement further checks and balances to ensure we don't experience similar project cost increases due to contaminated soils in the future.

Council approved increasing the tender.

At the same meeting, Council approved updating our "City Amenity Gift Program Policy" - CO62. Occasionally, the City will receive benches, outdoor clocks, or other gifts from groups. These gifts can have unintended maintenance costs or shorter lifespans than standard City outdoor furnishings. The updated policy ensures that any gift donated to the City is from the City's standard outdoor furnishings and equipment catalogue.

Council also approved a rezoning bylaw and issued a development permit to allow a 6-storey, 126-unit apartment at 19948 55A Avenue. You can read more about this project in a previous post.

Finally, Council asked City staff to draft a letter in response to a request from the Okanagan Basin Water Board to call on the province to continue to take action to prevent invasive mussels from being introduced into BC watersheds.