Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Public Hearing for the redevelopment of the West Country Hotel to a rental apartment building

Last night Langley City Council held a Public Hearing for a Zoning Amendment Bylaw, Development Permit, and Land Use Contract Discharge for a proposed 6-storey, 213-unit rental apartment located at the site of the former West Country Hotel located at 20222 56 Avenue.

You can read more about this proposed redevelopment in a previous post.

Council received several pieces of written correspondence about the redevelopment proposal, and four people from the general public attended the public hearing virtually.

There were three major themes that I heard from the people who provided feedback for the hearing.

One theme was around the building’s height and its impact on the surrounding apartment buildings. The applicant noted that they would be retaining the trees on both the west and east sides of the property to create a buffer. The applicant also provided a shadow study, which shows that shadows would directly impact the property east of the proposed development from the spring equinox to mid-summer around 10 am daily. Otherwise, shadowing is minimal.

Shadow study for the proposed development at 20222 56 Avenue/20237 Michaud Crescent.

The second theme was that the proposed public lane on the east of the property would create rat-running and be high-speed. The lane itself is 6.5 metres wide with a 1.5 metre wide sidewalk for a total of 8 metres. The width of the lane is a requirement of the fire department.

If the redevelopment moves forward, the applicant will be incorporate traffic calming along the lane as part of the servicing agreement process.

Site plan showing the trees that are being retained and expansion of community garden.

The third theme was about the impact on the community garden. The applicant noted that the current community garden plots are staying in place and would be expanding from 18 to 29 plots.

This applicant is working with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) to fund this proposed project. The CMHC requires that 20% of the proposed units have below-market maximum rents equal to 30% of Metro Vancouver’s median income. I asked why it wasn’t 30% of the Langley City median income. The applicant told me that using the median income for Metro Vancouver was required by the CMHC.

No votes occur at public hearings. Whether to give a third reading for the Zoning Amendment Bylaw will occur at a future council meeting.

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