Thursday, August 3, 2023

July 24 Public Hearing Notes: 6-storey, 75-unit apartment on 54A Ave

On July 24th, Langley City Council held a public hearing for a rezoning bylaw that, if approved, would allow for a 6-storey, 75-unit apartment at 20214-24 54A Avenue.

A rendering of a proposed building at 20214 & 20224 54A Avenue. Select the image to enlarge.

Because this site is within a 5-10 minute walk of the future 203rd Street SkyTrain Station, which the province plans to start construction on next year, Langley City's Official Community Plan allows up to 12-storey buildings in that part of town. The highest densities in the City will be within a 10-minute or less walk to our two SkyTrain stations. Beyond the 10-minute walk area, the maximum height for apartments is six stories.

Because the proposed project would redevelop an existing market rental building, this project is subject to Langley City's tenant relocation policy which includes provisions to help tenants relocate with the assistance of a tenant relocation coordinator, help with moving and moving expenses, the right to move back into the new building at 10% below market rental rates, and compensation. For vulnerable tenants, the policy includes additional help and compensation. For more information, please read Langley City's Tenant Relocation Plans policy. The applicant at the public hearing noted they would provide an additional one month of rent compensation above City policy.

This project is subject to Langley City's one-for-one rental replacement policy. As such, the project will include eight new purpose-built rental units ranging from studio to two-bedroom units.

The public hearing was well attended, and Council received several emails about the proposed project.

Generally, the concerns centred around the height of the building and shadow impacts on adjacent apartment buildings, on-street parking, traffic, and construction impacts. With the cave-in issue at the project being built at the former site of the West Country Hotel, folks were concerned about cave-ins of the underground parking.

The applicant's geotechnical engineer tried to assure people at the public hearing that the construction plan for the underground parking would ensure no cave-in event.

Langley City staff noted that the City is working on an on-street parking management plan for the whole City, that all redevelopment projects are subject to a traffic impact/mitigation process, and that all development projects must have a construction management plan to help mitigate the impacts of construction.

Specific to this proposed project, trees along the property line must be removed. These tree removals were vehemently opposed by the strata councils of the adjacent apartments as the trees straddle both the applicant property and the stratas'.

One person at the public hearing suggested installing a concave mirror in the alley to help with vehicle navigation and safety.

Council will consider the written and verbal feedback from the public hearing. Council is not able to consider any other feedback from the public per BC law.

Council will consider third reading of the rezoning in the fall.

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