Monday, December 2, 2019

Building a Walkable and Transit-Accessible Community: A First Look at Langley City’s New Concept Land-Use Plan.

As I posted about last week, Langley City is in the process of updating its official community plan. This plan, and accompanying zoning bylaw, will guide development in our community for decades to come. With fast, frequent bus service launched this fall to Langley City along Fraser Highway, and SkyTrain in the works, we have an opportunity to rethink how our community grows.

People's hopes and fears about the future of Langley City. Select picture to view.

Metro Vancouver data says that our region, and our city, will continue to grow. If we continue with “business as usual” development patterns, we will end up with more motor vehicle traffic and more congestion. If we choose to build a walkable and transit-accessible community, we can keep traffic at bay, while building a happier and healthier community.

After an intense one-day workshop, a concept land-use plan was created. This plan is all about making a walkable, bikeable, and transit-accessible community.

Langley City really consists of two different development patterns today: the more urban north of the Nicomekl River, and the more suburban south of the Nicomekl River.

The concept land-use plan embraces these two different patterns to ensure that the character of our community isn’t fundamentally changed.

Concept land-use plan for Langley City. Select picture to view.

The location of the SkyTrain stations are known. Within a 10-minute walk of these station, the concept plan calls out creating transit villages with high-density mixed-used buildings that would support residential, retail, and office uses. Radiating away from the SkyTrain stations, the density and mix of uses would reduce.

Should high-density housing be built near SkyTrain in Langley City? Select picture to view.

Because there is little to no green space in the northwest section of Langley City, the concept plan calls out the need for new park space.

Along Fraser Highway, the concept plan seeks to replace the current strip mall land-use pattern with a transit corridor land-use pattern such as like Burnaby Heights.

There would be no change to our industrial land base nor the Langley Bypass. Along Glover Road and Logan Avenue, the plan is to support high-tech businesses with uses such as light industry, retail, and office. This area would be transformed to be more walkable and bikeable.

The Fraser Highway One-Way would maintain its form and character as our downtown core.

South of the Nicomekl River, the concept plan seeks to add small-scale coffee shop/corner store retail at key locations to help support creating a more walkable community. Because 200th Street and 208th Street will be high-quality bus corridors in the future, the concept plan would allow 3-storey or lower ground-oriented townhouses or du-tri-four-plexes along these corridors.

The areas near the Nicomekl River would be aligned with the proposed land-uses called out in the Nicomekl River District concept plan.

The concept plan also calls out the opportunity to added granny flats or carriage homes in the form of “invisible infill” to the area south of the Nicomekl River bound by 200th Street, Grade Crescent, and 208th Street.

There would be little to no change in all other areas south of the Nicomekl River.

An open house was held on Thursday to get people’s feedback on the concept plan. There will be future opportunities to submit your feedback about the concept plan online. I will post this link when it becomes available.

Based on feedback received from the community and council, the concept plan will be refined.

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