Wednesday, February 5, 2020

January 27 Council Meeting: Moving forward with development projects. Concerns addressed around proposed Langley Lions Seniors Housing redevelopment.

In December, council gave first and second reading to a bylaw which would enable a 6-storey, mixed-use development project to be built at the corner or Logan Avenue and 203A Street if approved.

Top-down view from Locke Lane of the 6-storey, mixed-use development project. Select image to enlarge.

Also, council gave first and second reading to bylaws which would enable the construction of a new 101-unit Birch Building, plus allow for the eventual redevelopment of the current 518-unit Langley Lions Housing complex into a 981-unit, seniors-focused complex if approved.

Rendering of overall redevelopment plan for the Langley Lions Housing Society complex. Select image to enlarge.

A public hearing was held on January 13th to get public feedback on both proposed projects. While there was no feedback about the 6-storey, mixed-use project beyond clarifying its location, there was significant feedback received about the Langley Lions Housing Society project.

Because of the significant feedback received, Langley City staff prepared a public hearing information report. In this report, staff outlined what was heard at the public hearing, and clarifications or responses to what was heard at the public hearing.

The Langley Care Society who operates the Langley Lodge which is next to the Langley Lions complex was concerned that the proposed Birch Building would have a negative impact during construction, block cell phone antennas on their roof, and shadow their outside courtyard garden.

In the report, staff noted that the Langley Lions Housing Society will work with the Langley Care Society to ensure that negative impacts are mitigated. With regards to the courtyard garden, the garden will only be fully shadowed past 4pm like the current shadowing today.

There was also concern that the density of the project when fully built-out at 981-unit would cause isolation among residents. The Langley Lions Housing Society noted that indoor “spaces are specifically programmed to overcome segregation and isolation.”

Also, City staff noted that “low building lot coverage (36.5 percent), large internal courtyards and community gardens, and ground-oriented units that provide ‘eyes on the street’ and greenspaces” will provide a high-quality outside space for residents.

The remaining concerns were around the affordability of the proposed project, the mix of senior to non-senior residents, and support services available for people who have higher care needs.

The proposed Official Community Plan update will require a housing agreement be singed between the City and Langley Lions Housing Society for each phase of the project. Tenant mix and affordability will be addressed in the housing agreement process. This housing agreement process has not started yet.

Council passed a motion that the project should have a higher percentage of senior residents than there are today once fully built-out.

BC Housing, which is the funder of the proposed 101-unit replacement Birch Building, noted that “none of its subsidized tenants for the new Birch building will be required to pay more than 30 % of income for rent.”

For more details, please read the staff report.

Langley City council gave third reading to bylaws for both the 6-storey, mixed-use development project, and Langley Lions Housing Society complex redevelopment at its January 27th meeting.

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