Wednesday, June 16, 2021

June 14 Council Notes: $7.5 million loan, alcohol in parks pilot project, and “light it up” policy approved

As I posted earlier this year, Langley City council preliminarily approved a $7.5 million loan to purchase property to support the Surrey-Langley SkyTrain extension and the Nexus of Community vision. This loan would be paid back over 15 years by a one-time 1.93% tax increase applied this year. For a loan to be approved, the provincial government requires that municipalities either hold a referendum or go through an Alternative Approval Process.

In an Alternative Approval Process, following strict provincial regulations, a municipality advertises how people who are eligible electors can register their opposition to the loan. In Langley City, people could register their objection in-person at City Hall, by mail, email, and even fax. Of the estimated 21,374 eligible electors in Langley City, only 19 registered their objection to the loan, well below the 10% threshold, which would have caused Council to cancel the loan or go to a referendum to approve the loan.

As a result of the Alternative Approval Process, Langely City council approved the $7.5 million loan on Monday afternoon.

After discussing whether to scale back the date for the “Consumption of Liquor at Parks and Public Facilities” pilot project to the end of August, Council ultimately approved the original pilot dates and bylaw. Not all members of Council were in support of the pilot program. The pilot program will run from July 1st until September 30th on Fridays and Saturdays between 1 pm and 8 pm. The pilot program will take place in McBurney Plaza, select areas in Douglas Park, and the picnic shelters at City Park. For more information, please read a previous post I wrote.

Council also received a report from City staff about the current end-of-life electric vehicle charging stations in the Timm’s Community Centre underground parkade and Engineering Operations Centre. Council directed staff to “include a 2022 capital budget request to upgrade existing Level 2 stations at Timm’s underground parkade and Engineering Operations at a capital budget of $17,000 and operating budget of $850/yr.”

Council approved a new policy which will allow the stage at Douglas Park Spirit Square to display different coloured lights in response to requests that are not-for-profit, community-orientated and support either:

  • an event or cause of national or international significance
  • a local festival or event that positively impacts local community spirit
  • a local, national or international awareness issue that builds community

The City will deny requests that “espouses racism, personal discrimination, violence or hatred” or “promote a point of view or organization of a political, ethical, or religious nature or directly encourage, or exhibit obvious indifference to unlawful behaviour.”

Council also gave final reading to several housekeeping bylaws and the Municipal Ticket Information System Amendment Bylaw, which will result in increased fines for some bylaw violations.


Lee Thompson said...

Thanks to Langley City Council for the bylaw prohibiting smoking in the Nicomekl Trails... but now what? I still frequently see groups -- primarily teens, occasionally transients -- clustered at the benches smoking, bonging, etc. Do we call a bylaw officer? RCMP? Who enforces the bylaw, and how is it enforcible if those breaking the bylaw move on well before anyone arrives?

Nathan Pachal said...

You can call the RCMP non-emergency line at 604-532-3200 anytime. You can call bylaws at 604-514-2800 if it is Monday through Friday during the day.

Unfortunately, they do need to catch people in the act.

During the summer, they will be stepping up bike patrols in the floodplain area.