Wednesday, September 20, 2017

September 18, 2017 Council Meeting Notes: Green Walls, Casino Impacts, and Environmental Stewardship

Langley City council approved issuing a development permit for an expansion to one of the car dealerships located in the “Langley Auto Collection” located near Glover Road and the Langley Bypass. The addition to the existing dealership will facilitate an expanded parts and service department. The current auto dealership has a small section of green wall. I noticed that the green wall was missing in the expanded version of the auto dealership. I asked the proponent of the project if the green wall was being removed, and was told yes.

Rendering of expanded parts and service department for an auto dealership on Collection Drive. Select image to enlarge.

While green walls can have energy saving benefits if done correctly, most green walls are used for aesthetic purposes. Since being on council, there have been two green walls/roofs proposed in projects were development permits were issues, and where the greening was subsequently removed from the plans. This auto dealership will be the first time that a green wall is being removed after being installed in the City. Green walls are not a requirement for development permits to be issued in Langley City.

Green walls have significant maintenance costs which is likely why they end up being removed from projects. I find it interesting that they seem to show up frequently in development permits.

Later during the council meeting, there was a presentation from BCLC about the casino in our community, and the benefits derived from the casino. Representative from BCLC also outlined their new program to encourage positive gaming. About 3% of people problematically use BCLC products (slots, table games, and lottery tickets). Their new program is called “Player Health.” It is based on the following four pillars: Informed Decision Making, Encouraging Positive Play, Reducing Problem-Gambling Prevalence, and Effective Referral to Treatment and Support.

Langley City helps funds the Langley Environmental Partners Society’s Summer Eco Crew. This program employs two post-secondary students and two high school students full-time during the summer months. Carly Stromsten gave a presentation to council about this year’s program. The goals of the program are to provide: habitat enhancement, environmental education to the community, and employment skills to participating students.

Presentation including picture of LEPS 2017 Eco Crew. Select image to enlarge.

This year, the Eco Crew removed invasive plants at 7 sites totaling 637 square metres in Langley City. They participated at eight community events. They also gathered data throughout the City, noting the location and density of invasive plants, to generate a heat map. This map can be used for targeting invasive plant hot-spots for removal in the future.

Later during the meeting, council gave first and second reading to discharge land-use contracts from two lots in the City. Land-use contacts were used in the 1970s, and have since been superseded by zoning.

Council also approved the updated Officer Establishment Bylaw, and Fire Protection and Safety Bylaw. I posted about these two bylaws previously.

Council also gave first and second reading for a proposed rezoning at 19753 55 A Avenue. This will allow a public hearing to be scheduled. I will post more about the proposed rezoning at that time.

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