Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Task Forces in the Township

Township of Langley Council appears to be in the process of setting up two task forces in the municipality. The first task force would be called the Community Engagement Task Force and the second called the Advisory Committee or Task Force on Transportation.

The Community Engagement Task Force would have the mandate to recommend to Council what steps should be taken to improve community engagement in respect to planning and the development process. The task forces would look at the current engagement process, including by-laws, and suggest any changes that could be made to improve community involvement. If this task force commences, it would be interesting to see if they would recommend a more cooperative form of community engagement which could include elements like design workshops. These workshops were used in the creation of the Sustainability Charter and I think were successful. I would hope that they would deemphasize the public hearings process as the be all, end all which is required by provincial law, but which I don’t find very productive. I would assume that after the task force makes its recommendation, it would be disbanded.

The Advisory Committee or Task Force on Transportation actually has some prior history in the Township as the Public Transportation Advisory Task Force. This task force was setup in 2001 to provide advice for TransLink’s South of the Fraser Area Transit Plan and also the original cycling network plan for the Township. The new transportation task force would have the mandate to provide input and recommendations to Council on TransLink, Provincial transportation policy and issues, municipal transportation policy and issues, and the prioritization of alternative mode of transportation. This would certainly be one of the more exciting task forces in the Township as transportation is always a hot-button issue in Langley. I'm certain it would become a continuous advisory committee.

You can read more about these task forces in the latest agenda of the Council Priorities Committee Agenda.

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