Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Langley City Neighbourhood Askes for Increased Density Due to Past Flooding

Langley City's current Official Community Plan, which Council adopted in November 2021, expanded the areas where people could have the option of building "missing middle" housing. "Missing Middle" housing is townhouses, rowhomes and 'plexes which provide lower-cost housing options for families and typically include 2-4 bedrooms.

The Official Community Plan provides new opportunities for property owners to build "missing middle" housing along the 200th Street corridor and 208th Street corridor. In addition, the City now allows "missing middle" housing in the area bound by City Park, the floodplain, and 48th Avenue, as shown in the salmon colour.

Land-use plan for a section of the Blacklock Neighbourhood. Select the map to enlarge.

Besides wanting to provide the opportunity for people to build more family housing in our community, this area in the Blacklock Neighbourhood is also in the one-in-two-hundred-year flooding area. Most of the housing in this area is below our current flood construction level, meaning many people cannot or can only purchase expensive flood insurance. Enabling "missing middle" housing can provide an option for people to get the equity out of their property and move to housing above the flood construction level. During the Official Community Plan development process, we heard most of this neighbourhood wanted this.

At last night's Council meeting, we received a petition for the homeowners in the area as shown, requesting that the City allow 3-6 storey townhouses, rowhouses, or apartments within the boundary of their area.

Petition area. Select the map to enlarge.

These people have suffered from the recent flooding and want the City to allow slightly higher density to incentivize the quick redevelopment of their properties, as they want to avoid suffering through another flooding event.

Langley City Council received the petition at Monday night's Council meeting and asked staff to prepare a report with options for Council to consider.

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