Monday, April 22, 2013

City of Langley Development Update

Looking over tonight’s City of Langley council agenda, there are two projects that peaked my interest. The first project is the 15-storey Charleston Place building which is proposed for the corner of Industrial Avenue and 203rd Street. I’ve posted an update about this project earlier this month. The project will contain 29 high-end residential units, and 71,300 square feet of commercial floor space.

At tonight’s meeting, council will have the opportunity to approve the rezoning of the property for this project from "C2 Service Commercial" to "C1 Downtown" which is in line with the official community plan. At the same time, council is likely to approve the development permit for this project tonight.

Site plan of proposed 201st Street apartment project. Click image to enlarge.

The next project of interest is a proposed 5-storey, 90 unit apartment building around 53 B Avenue and 201st Street. There are two things that stand out about this project. The project will be the first 5-storey wood frame building in the City of Langley (In 2009, the Province updated the building code to allow up to 6-storey wood frame buildings.) The other interesting thing about this project is that it is sited on what essentially is an island surrounded by local roads. It’s not too often that every edge of a building is a corner lot. With that in mind, it is interesting that the developer chose to make one of the corners of the proposed apartment a parking lot.

South elevation of proposed 201st Street apartment project. Click image to enlarge.

The developer of this proposed project also proactively completed a CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design) report. The author of the CPTED report noted, in the neighbourhood of the project, people of all ages where seen walking on the sidewalks. According to the author, this means that people feel safe, a sense of ownership in the neighbourhood, and a "willingness to defend it from unwanted behavior.” The author also noted that there is very little graffiti which furthered the impression of a safe community. While the author noted that many of the new multi-family buildings were in a state of good repair, he also noted that there were a number of single-family houses either boarded up or in a state of disrepair. This is likely due to the land-owners waiting to sell for redevelopment. Overall, the author says that the proposed apartment project follows the principals of CPTED and will discourage crime and unwelcome behaviour in the neighbourhood. The whole CPTED report is available in tonight's council meeting agenda package.

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