Thursday, November 28, 2019

Planning Langley City’s Future: Yesterday’s workshop on housing forms and density.

Langley City’s is in the process of rewriting our Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw. These are the key documents which will guide growth and urban design for our city over the next several decades.

With the arrival of high-quality public transit such as the 503 Fraser Highway Express, and the pending arrival of SkyTrain, there is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to preserve what we love about our community, build a walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly community, and ensure that we create a city where people can afford to live no matter their age, income, or ability.

In the summer, a public workshop and open house was held to help inform the creation of the smaller-scale Nicomekl River District plan. Following the same process, but for the whole community, yesterday morning’s workshop was held to get ideas about density and housing forms for our whole community.

At the workshop, people we split into tables. People were asked what and where should different density levels be in our community. People were also asked what forms of housing should be allowed and where.

People reviewing various housing forms. Select image to enlarge.

Ideas ranged from keeping things the status quo in our most southern neighbourhoods, to building towers near Willowbrook Mall.

A group reviewing a map of Langley City. Select image to enlarge.

Taking pictures after finalizing ideas. Select image to enlarge.

The general feeling that I got was that people believed higher density housing should be focused around transit, but that there was also an opportunity to add two neighbourhood nodes that could support corner stores or coffee shops south of the Nicomekl River. These small nodes might also include a limited number of row homes. I got the idea that people would like to see more diversity in single-family redevelopment options than the current large-format housing that we are seeing built today as neighbourhoods redevelop.

A group reviewing various housing designs. Select image to enlarge.

I also got the feeling that people thought that designing for walkability and transit while keeping our community affordable was important.

The ideals from this workshop will be refined and presented at an open house tonight at Timms Community Centre from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

I will be taking some pictures from the open house, and will share them on Monday.

Not everyone is able to make it to open houses, or provide feedback in-person. There will be an opportunity to provide feedback online. As soon as this is up, I’ll share the link.

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