Tuesday, October 12, 2021

New Design Criteria Manual: More Street Trees, Adapting to Climate Change, and Safer Streets

Last Monday, Council gave third reading to a proposed new Subdivision and Development Bylaw. As part of updating the bylaw, City Staff also updated the Design Criteria Manual for our community.

The bylaw set the base requirements for all civil works on public and private lands in Langley City, including lot grading, roads, waterworks, rainwater management, sewer, street lighting, traffic control, landscaping, and street trees.

With climate change occurring, communities must adapt.

Langley City’s proposed new Subdivision and Development Bylaw and Design Criteria Manual address the realities of climate change. The new design guide improves walking and cycling design standards. The new design guide also requires improved on-site rainwater management, focusing on letting rainwater recharge underground aquifers. Some of the new requirements include permeable paving material on private property.

To treat water runoff from roadways, the City will require bioswales, especially in the southern sections of Langley City.

An example of a bioswale. This one is in Brydon Park. Select image to enlarge.

The City will require all rainwater management systems to handle 100-year storm events. This requirement is one of the strictest in Metro Vancouver.

The City will also require street trees everywhere, and staff have updated the City’s standard road cross-sections to reflect this. Street trees will play a critical role in combating the heat island effect by increasing the tree canopy.

A typical road cross-section that includes street trees. Select image to enlarge.

I posted about the Subdivision and Development Bylaw in the summer when Council gave first and second reading to it. After first and second readings, staff sought public feedback on the proposed bylaw and manual. City staff received 16 suggested changes to the bylaw and design manual, and moved forward with 12 suggested changes.

Council also gave first, second, and third reading to amend the Highway and Traffic Regulation, Municipal Ticket Information System, and Fees and Charges bylaws to incorporate changes resulting from the new Subdivision and Development Bylaw.

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