Tuesday, January 2, 2024

2024 in Langley City: What's Coming Down the Pipe

Happy New Year! I hope you were able to spend some time with those who are important to you over the holidays. While local government generally runs on a September through July cadence, I wanted to highlight some of the things Langley City Council and staff are working on in 2024.

First up this year will be the 2024 budget for Langley City. Council approved the 2024 water, sewer, and garbage collection utility rates in December. Starting in January, we will set the 2024 operating budget for other City departments and the capital projects budget. As a note, more than 50% of Langley City's operating budget goes towards community safety.

On the topic of community safety, over the last year, City staff have been laying the groundwork for getting a Citizens' Assembly on Community Safety off the ground. This year, the Citizens' Assembly will meet. It will make recommendations for City Council to implement to get to the root of community safety challenges to make people feel safer in Langley City.

Complementing the Citizens' Assembly, we will be continuing the work to create a holistic action plan that identifies the gaps in our social infrastructure in Langley City. This action plan is being created in collaboration with the non-profit sector that serves our community and the provincial government. One of the critical parts of this action plan is to drive accountability by measuring and reporting regularly on how the action plan is going, focusing on outcomes. Unlike other past plans, we will measure outcomes across City departments, non-profits, provincial ministries and agencies. These measurements will allow the City and non-profit sector to advocate where there are gaps and make changes as needed more quickly to deliver better outcomes for people in Langley City.

The City will be working on a beefed-up tenant relocation policy to ensure that if people are displaced due to the redevelopment of a purpose-built rental building, they will be compensated fairly and have the right to return at a discounted rental rate once the new building is completed. We will also be creating our own below-market affordable housing requirements for new development.

City Council will also continue our advocacy efforts to ensure that we get our fair share of water and sewer infrastructure funding from the federal government. We will also continue advocating for federal and provincial programs that get affordable housing built in Langley City.

SkyTrain construction will be starting this year. Langley City will be completing the creation of a new zoning bylaw this year. It will include the recent changes the provincial government announced to require at least four housing units on every lot in urban areas.

With population growth comes the need for more schools. While schools are the responsibility of the school board and provincial government, with SkyTrain coming soon and the new provincial housing changes, we will need to expand our Langley City school sooner rather than later. Families need schools. Without overstepping, Langley City Council may need to increase the visibility of this need (in partnership with the school board) to the provincial government.

2024 will be another busy year in Langley City!

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