Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Langley City’s Request for Service is the fastest way to report a problem

As a Langley City Council member, one of my roles is to help people navigate municipal government. One thing that gives me stratification is when a resident can get their matters resolved.

I’ve posted about it before. One of the first things that I ask people when they contact me about getting something fixed or cleaned-up is if they’ve completed a Request for Service.

Request for Service is Langley City’s online tool for reporting issues.

I use the tool all the time myself. I’ve likely completed hundreds of Request for Service requests over the years for things like burnt-out streetlights, abandoned garbage cleanup, trail repairs, signage requests, and bylaw matters.

The benefit of using Request for Service is that it delivers your request directly to the people who can action your request. It also gives you an ID number. All actions associated with a request are associated with that ID number.

Sometimes people reach out to me after they’ve reached out to City Hall about a matter. If a person has a Request for Service ID number, it streamlines figuring out what occurred.

Not all matters can be addressed with the Request for Service tool. It does take an email or phone call to address issues sometimes.

If you see a broken water main, damaged sewer line, non-functional traffic light, missing stops sign, or a sinkhole, please call the City at (604) 514-2800 or (604) 534-3496 if it is after-hours.

For after-hours bylaw issues such as around noise, please call the non-emergency line of the Langley RCMP at (604) 532-3200.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Celebrating Arts and Culture in Langley City – On Now

Screenshot from Langley City website.

Langley City has launched its Celebrating Arts and Culture Virtual Gallery at https://langleycity.ca/celebrating-arts-culture-langley-city

The virtual gallery contains art in all mediums, including printmaking, music, photography, dance, paintings, sculptures, fabric, pottery, and drawings.

Some local businesses are displaying art from the virtual gallery that people can view from the outside. If you happen to be in Downtown Langley (along 203rd, 56th, or the One-Way), be sure to keep your eyes peeled for murals, pottery, paintings, and 3D printing art.

The virtual gallery will be up until January 31st, and many of the pieces are for sale.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Regional District looking to strengthen climate change policies. Perfect timing for Langley City.

Last week, Langley City council unanimously passed a motion that there is a climate emergency. Council requested staff to provide a work plan for how our community can achieve net-zero carbon emissions before 2050. Included in that work plan is updating our Sustainability Framework to incorporate current best practices on climate mitigation, adaptation, and resilience, focused around development and infrastructure projects.

The Metro Vancouver Regional District is in the process of updating the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). Langley City's Offical Community Plan must be consistent with the objectives of the RGS.

Climate change policy areas. Select image to enlarge. Source: Metro Vancouver

One of the areas of focus for the updated RGS is climate change and natural hazards. The current RGS is light on specific measures that municipalities in Metro Vancouver must take around climate change and natural hazards risk reduction. The Regional District is looking to strengthen the language in the updated RGS as follows:

  • Embed new climate change policies in all goals of the update RGS
  • Require ecosystem services such as carbon storage and flood protection to be considered when changing regional land-use designations
  • Require municipalities to specify how they will meet regional GHG emissions reduction targets
  • Quantify the influence of land-use, carbon storage, and regional GHG emissions
  • Create policies to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions based on current standards and best practices
  • Identify and map regional-scale natural hazards, risks and vulnerabilities
  • Encourage regional growth patterns that incorporate emergency management, utility planning, and climate change adaptation
  • Support regional flood management

Langley City is currently in the process of update our Offical Community Plan. If City council adopts the updated Offical Community Plan this year, the next step will be to update our master plans, such as the Master Transportation Plan. Langley City’s timing is fortuitous as updating our master plans will likely be occurring simultaneously as the Regional District updates its policies.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

January 11 Council Meeting: Volunteer committee accomplishments, $400,000 pedestrian bridge replacement, declaring a national opioid overdose crisis

Usually, Langley City will host in-person Youth Week activities in May, Community Day celebrations in June, and the Magic of Christmas parade in December. The Youth Committee, Community Day Committee, and Magic of Christmas Committee handle these events. The committees include City staff, students, volunteers from the community, and City council.

In-person events could not occur in 2020, so these committees pivoted to providing other community-based experiences.

For example, the Community Day Committee put together a scavenger hunt consisting of ten riddles to solve, requiring people to visit local parks this summer.

The Magic of Christmas Committee produced a local holiday lights virtual tour and a social media ‘Countdown to Christmas’. The committee provided funding for additional Christmas lights in McBurney Plaza.

The Youth Committee suspended their work on Youth Week 2020 to plan for future years. As a result, they shifted to raising awareness around social and environmental issues in our community.

Council received a report about these committees on Monday. I was impressed by the creative ideas that our committees came up with to enable community building experiences that were not in-person events.

On Monday, Langley City council approved applying for a $400,000 grant from the federal “COVID-19 resilience infrastructure stream” to replace the safe but rickety pedestrian bridge near 206A Street with an accessible 3-metre wide steel bridge.

Location of the bridge to be replaced in the Nicomekl River Floodplain near 206A Street

Langley City council received a letter from the City of Kamloops calling for the federal government to declare the opioid overdose crisis a national public health emergency, decriminalize person use of drugs, and ensure that there are pharmaceutical alternatives to toxic street drugs. Council referred this letter to City staff to formula a potential letter that City council could send to the federal government on the same topic.

Council indirectly received an email from our MP Tamara Jansen regarding her comments that Langley City is a “Ghost Town.” Due to technical issues, the discussion of this email was cut-short and deferred to a future council meeting.