Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Township of Langley and Metro Vancouver Update

Earlier this year, the Township of Langley and Metro Vancouver got into a disagreement over the proposed Trinity Western University District which includes the controversial Wall Financial Corporation residential development. Over the summer, the Township of Langley and Metro Vancouver exchanged a few letters. I reviewed the letters and it seems that Metro Vancouver believes that the Township of Langley is under the new Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) which includes the urban growth boundary, while the Township believes it is still under the older and weaker Livable Region Strategic Plan (LRSP.) The Township believes the University District is consistent with the LRSP while Metro does not believe it is consistent with the LRSP or the RGS. The follow excerpt from an August 27th Metro Vancouver memo sums up Metro’s position on the District:

-The proposed OCP amendment would allow residential, commercial, cultural, and assembly uses that are not consistent with the measures to protect the Green Zone prescribed in the Township’s existing RCS for the proposed lands.
-The area defined as “University District” does not match the area defined as “Special Study Area” in Metro Vancouver’s RGS.
-Except for Trinity Western University’s existing footprint, most of the proposed “University District” is outside the Urban Containment Boundary defined in the RGS.
-The land use permitted in the proposed “University District” would only be appropriate inside the RGS Urban Containment Boundary which in turn could only be achieved by amending the RGS.
-The Township’s existing RCS explicitly refer to minimum lot sizes of 8 ha for rural area lands that are designated “Agriculture/Countryside” and 1.7 ha for lands designated “Small Farms/Country Estate.” The new minimum lot size proposed for a portion of the “University District” is 0.03 ha

Metro Vancouver strongly recommended that the Township of Langley basically get Metro Vancouver Board approval for this project to proceed by essentially amending the RGS. It seems like the University District will be in limbo for the next little while and I wonder if there will be legal action.

This whole hoopla got Township Council upset and they threatened to leave Metro Vancouver. While this is most likely nothing more than hot air, the Township plans to commission a new $40,000 to $60,000 study to see if the Township is receiving a net benefit by being in Metro Vancouver and TransLink. This study was originally done in 2000 and found that the Township was better off in Metro Vancouver with TransLink service and was getting a net benefit.

1 comment:

steven morris cross said...

Let's create a nice bike path and pedestrian trail linking TWU to Fort Langley and establish this as a college-friendly town. We don't need any more sprawl.