Tuesday, September 12, 2017

September 11, 2017 Council Meeting Notes: New Scotiabank Branch at Valley Centre Mall

Last night was the first meeting of Langley City council since the August break. The first item covered on the agenda was a development permit for an in-fill project at Valley Centre Mall.

This time last year, the owner of Valley Centre was issued a development permit for an infill building along Fraser Highway. This building was to include a drive-thru restaurant. As I’ve stated in the past, drive-thrus and walkable downtowns are not the best combination. This original proposal was not built.

Last night, the owner presented a new plan to build an infill Scotiabank branch along Fraser Highway.

Rendering of new Scotiabank branch as seen from Fraser Highway. Select image to enlarge.

The Scotiabank building will have offices with windows that front Fraser Highway. This will help put more eyes and ears on the street, and build a street wall along Fraser Highway. There will be no drive-thru. This will result in a safer, more walkable, and engaging section of Fraser Highway.

Walking and cycling access will be provided directly from Fraser Highway though the main entrance faces west into the parking lot. I would have preferred to see the main entrance along Fraser Highway.

Updated site plan of Valley Centre Mall. Select image to enlarge.

The current entrance to Valley Centre Mall along Fraser Highway will also be improved to make walking safer, and will restrict turns by building a concrete median in Fraser Highway at that location.

The sidewalk along Fraser Highway fronting the mall will also be updated to modern standards, and will look similar to the sidewalk that is being built along 56 Avenue near Glover Road. A new raised crosswalk and new sidewalks will also be provided at the 201A Street entrance to the mall. Vehicle circulation will be improved too. These incremental improvements will make accessing the mall safer no matter if you walk, cycle, or drive.

I’m happy to see in-fill development along Fraser Highway that will enhance our downtown core. Council was told that construction of this project would be occurring right away.

Currently, there are two Scotiabank branches in Langley City. One along 56 Avenue near Glover Road, and another along 200 Street between the Langley Bypass and Willowbrook Drive. Even if one of the branches is relocated, it is good news as there will now be a bank that fronts Fraser Highway, our main street, in the downtown core.

Council approved issuing the development permit.

As a note, Westminster Savings is located at the eastern gateway of our downtown core. There is also an HSBC at the corner of 200th Street and the Langley Bypass.

Tomorrow, I’ll be posting about other agenda items covered at last night’s meeting.

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