Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Soil Deposit and urban/rural issues in the Township

One of the interesting things about the Township of Langley is the dual nature of the community. While the community is growing rapidly along the 200th Street corridor into a very urban place, it is still very much rural at heart (at least politically.) When you look at most of the hot button issues in recent years around the schools system, overpasses, propane cannons, Glen Valley, 16th Avenue, and the ALR; they have all been rural issues. Besides the normal issues that come with any growing community that some might call classic NIMBYism, it seems that much of council’s time is spent on rural issues and urban issues might not be getting the attention needed to building a community that is accessible for all.

The latest example of the focussing on rural issues is around soil removal and deposit on private land. In 2009, a number of controversial soil deposit applications prompted council to work for the last several years on a new process for dealing with this issue. The result is a proposed by-law which will introduce a new permitting process for any major proposed soil removal or deposit. The by-law will hopefully protect Township residents, roads, and the environment from careless soil removal and deposit. You can read more information about the history and the by-law from the latest agenda of the Council Priorities Committee.

While this by-law is certainly needed, I’m concerned that in dealing with these complex rural issues council is glazing over complex urban issues around sustainable place building. Maybe instead of all this talk about merging the two Langleys, Walnut Grove, Willoughby, and Willowbrook could join the City of Langley and create an urban municipality.

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