Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 8th, 2017 Council Meeting Notes: Construction projects and being good neighbours; resident's concerns heard by council

At last night’s City of Langley council meeting, there were three items on the agenda where members of the public could provide feedback to council. The first item was a rezoning application for the property which is currently the site of the Yale Manor on Brydon Crescent that was formerly owned by the Langley Lions Seniors Citizens Housing Society. The rezoning application would permit a 4-storey, 54-unit apartment building on the site.

Rendering of the proposed apartment building located on the site of the Yale Manor. Select image to enlarge.

The official community plan would normally allow up to 90 units on this property, but because the property backs onto Baldi Creek, sections of the property are within the City’s restricted Environmentally Sensitive Area which forbids development.

One of the good things about this project is that all parking will be underground, so there will be no surface parking. Also, there will be both visitor and resident bicycle parking. Most apartments in Langley are built atop a podium due to the high-water table in our community. Sometimes this can create rather tall concrete walls which don’t contribute to creating an engaging public realm. Due to the soil conditions on this property, the front of the building will only have a 1 metre tall podium.

The proponent of the project also hosted a community meeting for people within 100 metres of the property. About a dozen people attended, and according the proponent, the majority of the people supported this project.

At the council meeting, a resident who lives along 199A Street spoke about the proposed rezoning. He was concerned about construction workers who park their vehicles on-street, limiting on-street parking for residents. He was also concerned about heavy equipment being parked on the street. He noted that he didn’t receive an invite to the community meeting hosted by the proponent. Finally, he was concerned that the construction crew for this project would not respect the neighbourhood; creating noise before 7am in the morning, and leaving litter in the community. This was based on his past experience with some construction projects in the area.

City’s council took these concerns seriously. The proponent of the project committed to making the comments and list of people who attended the community meeting public. Council also instructed staff to work with the proponent to ensure that construction crews will be respectful of the neighbourhood.

Construction crew parking concerns is something that I’ve heard about from many people in the community. For some projects, proponents have provided parking management plans for their construction crews. City council asked staff to work with the proponent to develop a parking management plan for this project.

Construction projects do have an impact in communities, but these impacts can be limited with planning and by respecting neighbourhood residents.

The rezoning application is consistent with our official community plan, and was given third reading by council.

The second item for public feedback was for zoning a small piece of property from a former section of lane near Park Avenue. There were no comments from the public, and council gave that zoning application third and final reading.

Hashed area is former lane that is now zoned. Select image to enlarge.

The final item for public feedback related to the City’s 2016 Financial Plan. As I posted about previously, an amendment is required to incorporate the actual year-end financial results into the plan. There were no comments from the public about the amendment. Council approved the amendment.

On the topic of development, council also approved a development permit for a 4-storey, 98 unit apartment building located at 201 Street and Michaud Crescent. I posted about this development proposal previously.

Rendering of proposed apartment building located at the corner of 201 Street and Michaud Crescent. Select image to enlarge.

Tomorrow, I will post about the other items on last night’s agenda.

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