Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Langley City Connects Bulletin has dropped and is in a mailbox near you!

What's old is new again, and I'm excited to see the relaunch of this twice-a-year newsletter to keep our residents and businesses in the loop about what's happening in our community and at City Hall.

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

September 25 Council Meeting Notes: More Housing Approved, McBurney Plaza Renewal, Other Matters

On Monday night, Langley City Council gave third reading for a rezoning bylaw that, if approved, would allow for the construction of two 6-storey apartments with 171 units at 20659-20679 Eastleigh Crescent. You can read more about this project and its public hearing in a previous post. Rezoning bylaws require four readings. Council only considers the fourth and final reading once an applicant has completed all of Langley City's preconstruction planning and engineering requirements. These requirements also include paying fees and deposits. There is usually a gap of a few months to a year before final reading, depending on the applicant's speed.

Council also gave final reading and issued a development permit to construct a 6-unit townhouse at 20816 45A Avenue. This development was subject to great concern and feedback from people living in the surrounding neighbourhood. This concern led to Council placing a moratorium on redevelopment in the area until parking and traffic could be addressed, and a best practices guide for building Townhouses/'Plexes was created. As these conditions have been met, Council lifted the moratorium in August.

Later in the meeting, Council approved tendering a contract for $679,781 to Cedar Crest Lands (BC) Ltd. This tendering enables replacing the wood decking with new concrete pavers, concrete substructure, wood benching, tree preservation and planting in McBurney Plaza. The current wood deck is deteriorating and slippery.

Council provided an opportunity for people to comment on an amendment to our 2023-27 Fiancnail Plan. I posted about this amendment previously. There was no feedback. Council gave final reading to the amendment.

Council also approved the Deputy Mayor schedule for 2023-24 as follows:

November 1 - December 31: Councillor White
January 1 - February 28: Councillor James
March 1 - April 30: Councillor Mack
May 1 - June 30: Councillor Albrecht
July 1 - August 31: Councillor Solyem
September 1 - October 31: Councillor Wallace

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Public Hearing Notes: 6-Storey, 126-Unit Apartment Building at 19948 55A Avenue

Last night, Langley City Council held a public hearing for a rezoning bylaw and development permit that, if approved, would allow for constructing a 6-storey, 126-unit apartment building at 19948 55A Avenue.

A front view of the proposed building. Select the image to enlarge.

Council received a letter from a resident in the neighbourhood concerned about the capacity of schools to accommodate more children and increased traffic in the area. Langley City works with the Langley School District to model school enrollment in our neighbourhoods. Council also continues to lobby the provincial government and School Board to expand schools in our community.

About seven people provided verbal feedback at the public hearing.

One person spoke in favour of the development but wanted to ensure that Langley City continues building the social infrastructure to accommodate new people moving to the community.

One of the main themes from the public hearing was that people living around the proposed new building, especially those in the five-story building to the south, were concerned about shadows being cast onto their building. Because the proposed building is to the north of their buildings, and because of the sun's position in our part of the world, both City staff and the applicant said it was physically impossible to cast shadows on those properties. The shadow is cast onto the street for the buildings to the north as the building steps back its sixth storey.

Shadow cast during the spring equinox. Select the image to enlarge.

There was also concern about traffic and the safety of the intersection of Brydon Crescent and 200th Street. Langley City staff noticed that the applicant for this proposed new building would have to complete a traffic impact assessment, including studying intersections in the area. If the assessment recommends road or intersection changes, those recommendations must be considered.

One person expressed concern about not enough on-street parking. Staff noted that during construction, trade/construction parking will be secured off-site, likely at the nearby church. Council noted that we are also completing an on-street parking management plan to ensure that on-street parking is equitably allocated in our community.

Another person noted concern about whether the alley to the east of the proposed development would be blocked off during construction. The alley may be blocked during some small periods, but it would remain open overall. The City requires a construction and traffic management plan.

Some other folks expressed concern about vibration and construction noise. City staff noted that the City requires noise and vibration controls, and if there are concerns during construction, please contact the City.

Two people who are friends with the people who own houses to the west of this proposed development were concerned that their friend's lots would not be able to be redeveloped because they are too small. Langley City staff confirmed that the size of the two lots combined would support a six-storey building.

Monday, September 25, 2023

National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Gathering and Workshops

National Day for Truth & Reconciliation Gathering Postcard. Select the Postcard to Enlarge.

For the past several years, there has been a memorial at Derek Doubleday Arboretum to learn about and honour those who survived and those who did not due to the horrors of the residential school system in Canada. It was also an opportunity to recommit to reconciliation.

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation is this Saturday, and there will be a gathering at Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

From 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm, a guided activity will help you reflect on the past and commit to working toward reconciliation.

From 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, there will be speakers, drumming and a candlelight walk to honour the children sent to residential school.

One of the keys to moving toward reconciliation is education. The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation is putting on “lunch and learn” sessions this week, which you can participate in live or view later.

Topics include:

Monday, September 25: Indigenous peoples and the History of Residential Schools, hosted by Brenda Gunn with Crystal Fraser and Tagaaq Maata E-Palmer.

Tuesday, September 26: Unconscious bias and debunking stereotypes, hosted by Kaila Johnston with Dr. Cary Miller and Jesse Wente.

Wednesday, September 27: Intergenerational impacts and ongoing systemic discrimination, hosted by Sandra Bender with Cynthia Wesley-Esquimaux and Christa Big Canoe.

Thursday, September 28: Indigenous peoples’ rights and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, hosted by Kaila Johnston with Brenda Gunn.

Friday, September 29: Taking action toward reconciliation, hosted by Kaila Johnston with Jimmy Durocher and Dale LeClair.

Please visit the Truth and Reconciliation Week 2023 Public Lunch and Learns Eventbrite page to learn more.