Sunday, June 13, 2010

Public Hearing Tomorrow

What: Jericho Sub-Neighbourhood Plan Public Hearing
Where: Township of Langley Municipal Facility
4th Floor, Fraser River Presentation Theatre
20338 65th Avenue, Langley
Time: 7:00pm


In early 2008 Township Council received a Terms of Reference report for a Jericho Sub-Neighbourhood Plan (Jericho SNP) which resulted in a planning process for lands south of 80th Avenue and east of the Langley Events Centre (East Latimer Neighbourhood Plan). The planning process has since been expanded based on resident input. Several years ago, Council also designated 200th Street as a major transit corridor that should be protected as such.

The main interest of South Fraser OnTrax in this process is for sustainable development in this Jericho SNP area. Township staff have recommended that development in this area be sustainable in nature and help encourage and support the range of transportation options that our community desires. So, we do not oppose development, but we do want to see sustainable development in the area.

In a staff report to Council dated July 20, 2009, staff recommended mixed-use, transit oriented development. A mixture of residential units and commercial units that serve the local community was encouraged by staff. It was also communicated that this commercial development should not “impact the economic viability or delay the development of other town centres”.

Staff recommended that residential and commercial development occur together at one time, that commercial floor space be limited to no more than 5,000 sq. ft. and that the commercial development in this area be orientated towards the local community and not 200th Street.

There were discussions by some Council members over the past year of allowing expanded commercial floor space to 15,000-20,000 sq. ft. in the Jericho SNP, and also to allow commercial development to occur ahead of residential development. Both plans would kill the sustainability objectives and lead to a Langley “Motordom”, where everything is geared towards the automobile, making a range of transit options non-viable because of a lack of density.

It should be noted that large commercial shopping areas and big box stores are available in Walnut Grove and Willowbrook, both within 5 minutes of the Jericho SN area. Motordom Langley should be avoided at all cost and your support at this meeting for our presentation will help send a clear message that we want transportation options and smart-growth development.

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