Thursday, August 21, 2014

Willoughby’s Latimer Draft Neighbourhood Plan

When the Township of Langley first planned the redevelop of Willoughby, it was very much auto-oriented with an ample amount of single-family homes and office parks. Over the last five years, there has been a shift at Township Hall to build a more walkable and transit friendly community.

In a community as large as the Township of Langley, there are several layers of planning that occur before an area can be developed. The first layer is the official community plan which presents the aspirational goals of a municipality and general land-use concepts.

The next level in the Township are community plans (like for Walnut Grove, Aldergrove, or Fort Langley.) These plans go into more detail about the types of development the municipality would like to see, plus lay out the general location of major community amenities like parks or community centres.

The final layer is neighbourhood plans. These plans really spell out what will be developed in an area.

The Township recently approved the neighbourhood plan for Carvolth which will see the northern part of Willoughby transformed into a transit village. The Township of Langley is currently working on the neighbourhood plan for Latimer which is just south of Carvolth, along the 200th Street corridor.

Latimer Draft Land-Use Map. Latimer encircles the Langley Event Centre which is the majority of the white space on the map. Select map to enlarge.

As you can see on the map, the Township is planning for mixed-use, walkable nodes where 200th Street meets major roads in Latimer. These nodes will be surrounded by row houses/townhouses with apartments planned along 200th Street.

Beside the pre-existing office park, all commercial and retail development will be mixed-use. The Township will also be requiring that at least 50% of parking be either underground or in a structure. The Township is also requiring that all surface parking be on the side or rear of buildings. The Township is also proposing to require that the majority of surface parking be provided at the rear of buildings. This will enhances walkability.

Map of proposed road and greenway network in Latimer. Select map to enlarge.

In the draft Latimer plan, the Township is proposing to build a fine-grain grid of roads and greenways, as opposed to auto-orientated “spaghetti” roads typical of suburban areas. A grid road network improves accessibility for pedestrians, cyclist, and motorists.

For more information, the draft planning documents for Latimer can be view on the Township’s website.

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