Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Proposed 6-Unit Rowhouse Project in Uplands Neighbourhood Receives Third Reading. Moratorium on Further Rezoning South of 50th Avenue Put in Place.

Yesterday afternoon, Langley City Council gave third reading to a rezoning bylaw that would enable a proposed 6-unit townhouse project at 20816 45A Avenue.

A rendering of the proposed rowhouse project at 20816 45A Avenue. Select the image to enlarge.

This project received considerable feedback from residents living in the Uplands Neighbourhood via written submissions before the public hearing and oral feedback at the public hearing.

Residents also provided around 50+ emails and a petition after the public hearing, which Council could not consider. Due to procedural fairness, if Council did consider the feedback received after the public hearing, it would open up the City to a legal challenge. You can read more about this in an article called “Public Hearings: A New Era.

Residents were concerned about the impacts on on-street parking, increased traffic due to turn restrictions at the 47th/208th/Grade Crescent intersection, speeding on 208th Street, the change in density, the potential impact on neighbourhood character, rate of change, and inadequate consultation on the new Official Community Plan.

On the topic of density and neighbourhood character, I noted that townhouses would only be allowed on existing properties near 208th Street in the neighbourhood. Detached housing zoning will remain for the rest of the Uplands Neighbourhood. I also pointed out that we have townhouses by Sendall Garden and City Park in detached housing areas. Some of these townhouses have existed for over three decades, maintaining the peaceful and green character of these neighbourhoods.

Rowhouses are only permitted in the salmon colour area under the Officially Community Plan for the Uplands Neighbourhood.

I also pointed out that the province requires each municipality to create a housing needs report. Our housing needs report notes we need more townhouses and rowhouses in our community. The provincial government is currently not enforcing municipalities to take action on these reports. Still, the province has recently signalled municipalities aren’t doing enough to build more housing and is looking at forcing municipalities to approve more housing faster.

Speeding is a big concern along 208th Street. I’ve advocated for action for years, and hopefully, there is now renewed energy to do something about speeding on 208th Street.

I also support a traffic light at 47th/208th/Grade Crescent. I believe that this is required no matter what. Most members of Council noted that a traffic light is needed in the area to help residents make left turns out of the Uplands Neighbourhood.

I proposed the following motion, which was unanimously adopted by Council. This motion helps address some of the other concerns expressed by the residents in the Uplands Neighbourhood.

Moratorium Rezoning South of 50th Avenue
Langley City's new Official Community Plan supports ground-oriented housing forms such as "plexes" and townhouses along the 200th Street and 208th Street corridor.
A recent survey found that most Langley City residents also support this gentle density approach along these corridors to provide a mix of housing types throughout the community.
The Official Community Plan envisions these corridors to redevelop incrementally over the plan’s lifetime. In the past few months since the new Official Community Plan adoption, there has been a solid demand for building along all segments of 200th Street and 208th Street.
The first proposed project, a 6-unit row home at 20816 45A Avenue, combined with an influx of “For Sale” signs north of this proposed project, has caused alarm for Upland and Blacklock residents.
Based on the concerns raised at the public hearing and the fact that this is the first attached ground-oriented housing project in a traditionally detached housing area, the City needs to make sure this project successfully integrates into the existing neighbourhood before any other projects proceed.
The City should collect data and feedback about this project to inform other ground-oriented housing projects along the 200th and 208th Street corridors.
As 200th Street and 208th Street are also major roads that connect the growing Brookswood and Fernridge neighbourhoods to the rest of the region, we must consider their traffic impacts on our community.
THAT Langley City Staff informs any person seeking to rezone a property south of 50th Avenue, with the exception of Bylaw Number 3206, that Council has taken a position to not consider, in principle, all such rezoning applications until:
a.) Traffic and parking studies have been completed in the area bounded by 208th Street to the west and Newlands Drive to the North; and,
b.) Traffic and parking impact mitigation measures as determined from the traffic and parking studies have been incorporated into the capital plan, subject to budget availability; and,
c.) A survey of residents about ground-oriented development in the area south of 50th Avenue has been received by City Council; and,
d.) Langley City staff develop a best-practice document for ground-oriented residential projects along the 200th Street and 208th Street corridors, incorporating feedback from residents in the area bounded by 208th Street to the west and Newlands Drive to the North.

Councillor Wallace and Councillor Storteboom vote against third reading of the rezoning bylaw. The project’s proponent will have to complete various technical tasks, including a traffic impact analysis before the project can be considered for final reading to adopt the rezoning bylaw.

No comments: