Friday, February 10, 2012

Carvolth Neighbourhood Plan Open House

I have been following the process of updating the Carvolth Neighbourhood Plan for a while now. Last night, I attended the open house on the plan update. I was struck again at the amount of change that can happen because of a park and ride lot and Bus Rapid Transit. Outside of the City of Langley, Carvolth east of 200th Street, will be the only other truly transit-oriented area in Langley. Looking at some of the pictures they had on display, it could almost bring tears to the eyes of someone that cares about sustainability.

A Livable Community. Click Image to Enlarge.
Another interesting slide was a map of transit access in the area. It appears that 200th Street will finally become part of TransLink’s frequent transit network which will open up more sustainable development opportunities along the corridor.

Transit Accessible Areas. Click Image to Enlarge.
One of the challenges that I see with the plan is the light-industrial area west of 200th Street. As you can see on the previous slide, it is the area outside of transit access. Speaking to Township staff last night, they told me that they kept the area light-industrial because TransLink will not provide transit service in the area and they are concerned about the traffic that would be generated from more intensive uses. Light-industrial in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, but it seems to me that these types of business end up in Port Kells, Delta, and probably Campbell Heights now. It would be a shame to see this area turn into another under-utilized Gloucester Industrial Estates. Maybe one of the solutions to providing transit in that area would be to start a private bus service like is being proposed by the Aldergrove Trolley Association. If TransLink won’t do it, I've heard that the private sector will. Being aware that the west side of Carvolth is zoned as mixed-employment lands, this would allow more mixed-use office development and less warehouses to be built in the gateway to Langley.

Salmon colour is land zoned mixed-employment by Metro Vancouver. Click image to enlarge.
Generally I have a good feeling about this plan, but the vibe I got from people at the open house was that the plan for Carvolth west of 200th Street still needs some tweaking.

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