Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Brookswood/Fernridge Community Plan Update

Earlier this year, I post about the proposed update to the Brookswood/Fernridge Community Plan. This parts of the Township of Langley has not seen a community plan update for close to 25 years, and there has been some interest to add new development in the community. This spring, the Township hosted a series of open houses to get feedback on the draft land-use concept for the community. The following land-use map is what people we asked to comment on.

Draft land-use concept for Brookswood/Fernridge. Click map to enlarge.

A report of the feedback received from the open house was put online this summer. One of the interesting take away is that people in the community want to keep both the rural character of the community, and increase transportation and housing options. It almost appears that the community has a bit of a split personality. The top two general feedback received from this round of open houses was that there should be more diversity of housing and higher density. The other top feedback received was that trees should be protected in the community.

Based on the feedback I read in the report, I think the Township has the opportunity to expand the 24th Avenue mixed-use node north, and the 32nd Avenue mixed-use node south. Higher density housing like townhouses should be considered between the nodes. The benefit of this idea is that it will have minimal impact to the existing single-family areas of Brookswood, and by focusing the density, it would also preserve the rural nature of the rest of the community.

By having a larger node focused around 200th Street between 24th and 32nd Avenue, transit service could be improved as there would be a sufficient density to support frequent transit service. It would also create a walkable hub, providing an accessible community which is important especially as our population continues to age.

The Township is currently working on fine-tuning this plan, and the next round of open houses will be scheduled this fall.

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