Tuesday, July 9, 2019

July 8 Council Meeting: Public hearing on proposed apartment, standing committee on legal cannabis, and interim improvements for Grade Crescent

Last night was the second to last public council meeting before the August break; there was a packed agenda.

The meeting started with a public hearing for rezoning property as shown in the following map along 53A Avenue to accommodate a 69-unit, 5-storey apartment building.

Location of properties proposed to be rezoned. 20209, 20219, 20225, 20237 53A Avenue. Select map to enlarge.

The proponent of the apartment project stated that the building will have mix of 1 bedroom, 1 bedroom + flex, 2 bedroom, and 2 bedroom + flex units. Some of the units are planned to be adaptable which means that they can be easily modified to accommodate people with limited mobility. The building will also include 2 EV parking spots on opening day, with all other parking spots roughed in for EV parking in the future.

Rendering of apartment being proposed for 20209, 20219, 20225, 20237 53A Avenue. Select image to enlarge.

Before a proposed rezoning or development permit goes to council, it goes to the citizen-led Advisory Planning Commission. One of the comments from the commission was to increase the window size and openness of the parking level lobby. The proponent of the project stated that they will be incorporating the commission’s recommendation regarding the parking level lobby.

There is a ramp from the street that connects to the main entrance. Councillor Storteboom asked if the ramp would be able to accommodate scooters. The proponent of the project stated that it met current accessibility requirements.

Councillor Albrecht asked the proponent if they considered a double gate system to enhance the security of the underground parking. The proponent stated that they did not consider a double gate.

I asked why the proponent didn’t add individual staircases to connect ground-level units to the street as recommended by the City’s Crime Prevention Through Environment Design checklist. The proponent stated it was something that the developer considered, but ultimately decided against pursuing. The following is an example of ground-level access from a recently completed building near Michaud Crescent and 200th Street.

A recently completed apartment building with individual unit ground-level stairs. Select image to enlarge.

A resident who spoke at the public hearing and lives adjacent to the proposed building stated that she did not want to see it built in her back yard.

An render of how the proposed apartment building would look in relationship to other buildings in the area. Select image to enlarge.

After the public hearing, there were two delegations to council.

The first delegation was from Randy Caine and his associates on the need for retail cannabis sales in Langley City. After this delegation, Mayor van den Broek stated that she will be creating a standing committee of council to research and make recommendations around how the legal cannabis industry could be accommodated in Langley City.

A presentation about the state of Grade Crescent between 200th Street and 203rd Street. Select image to enlarge.

The second delegation was from Bruce Downing on behalf of residents that live on Grade Crescent between 200th Street and 203rd Street. He noted the state of the crosswalks, sidewalks, and trails in the area, asking council to improve their safety and accessibility.

An example of the current state of the sidewalk along Grade Crescent. Select image to enlarge.

City staff is currently working on a medium-term plan for this corridor to improve safety for people walking, cycling, and driving. This project is several years away from starting. Based on the state of Grade Crescent today, interim measures are likely required. Council passed the following motion:

THAT staff investigate the cost of implementing interim traffic calming measures, interim repairs, and interim crosswalk safety improvements between 203rd Street and 200th Street along Grade Crescent in time for the 2020 budget development process or sooner.

This will allow council to consider interim measures in the 2020 budget. In the meantime, City staff will be improving a section of sidewalk and repainting the crosswalks in this area starting in the next few weeks.

Tomorrow, I will be continuing to post about Monday night’s council meeting.

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