UPDATE: – Coulter Berry …. You see, they still don’t get it! Froese now says he is very concerned – He should be!!

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

The decision of Justice Groves was very clear… The process was improper, are you surprised? The sad reality is this was a manufactured process by the Township senior bureaucracy to appease your Council (minus David Davis) to satisfy Eric Woodward and key supporter Kurt Alberts plus the Langley Establishment. They, Senior Staff and Council, got caught out by the courts! All of this was not supported by planning staff.

Have you ever asked yourself, who is really running the Township of Langley?

It was all I could do to get through what is being passed off as news by the local media.

Langley Times – An often used picture of the sod turning for, as it turns out, a non-existent building.  Virtually no examination of what the verbal decision was or no attempt to examine what the complaint was all about from the Petitioners – all public information. You would think, given the decision, that there would be a balanced attempt to understand the complaint with an effort to explain it to the public. Rather the Times offered us a fluffy public apologetic piece from the developer / builder to his supporters. Not one attempt to clearly explain the point of law and/or process that this challenge was founded on.

Then we get the following from Mayor Froese – “Council made every effort to ensure all opinions were heard and that proper process was followed. Council’s decision was made in the best interest of the public at large, to benefit our entire community. A community open house and a two day public public-hearing was held, with a great deal of input received by council from members of the public, Township staff, and legal counsel prior to granting the permit”.

What? – Did I read that right?

Remember the following-  Is this the same Mayor Froese?

These are not the actions of a reasonably thinking Mayor and Municipal Council.

Remember Pete McMartin’s column in the Vancouver Sun on Mayor Jack Froese?

(Pete McMartin Vancouver Sun) Nov. 29/12 RE Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley             

Mayor Froese was asked why he voted for it despite the evidence of so much local opposition states:

  • “He does not govern by petition”.

Of the preponderance of speakers opposing the variance at the official hearings Mayor Froese states:

  • “We really have to listen to the silence of the people who didn’t come out.”

Pete McMartin states “How Froese intuited that this absent cohorts silence was in favor of the Coulter Berry development and not against it, or split down the middle, is a mystery I will leave with him. Politicians have powers of the mind I cannot fathom.”

Despite the size of the opposition only one councilor voted against it, it sure says something about what is going on, doesn’t it!

Conclusion – The actions (votes, process and procedure) of this council speak volumes about what they are all about. This is more about serving special interests than it is about responsible government.

Mayor Froese, this is nothing but disingenuous self-serving BAFFLEGAB! You and your council have proven in spades you don’t have a clue what public consultation is all about. It is very clear that you and your council just don’t get it!

Langley Advance – It was stated by the Township CAO that the grounds in the verbal decision given by Justice Groves in the Supreme Court of B.C. in Chilliwack, were based on the permit varied density of the site? Well I was in the court room, I do not profess to be a lawyer, but I will be very interested in the Justice’s written decision. I believe this decision goes well beyond that issue.

I would like to say that the Mathew Claxton article in the Langley Advance offered a much more balanced approach to this significant news development.

Here is a unique concept! How about the Township of Langley go back to the drawing board, and come back to the community living up to the rules, by-laws, zoning and process that previously had been legitimized by the community and council of the day. Two stories with an appropriate site coverage, the community would love it!

A layman’s view of the Court proceeding: As I indicated in my last BLOG Post on BREAKING NEWS re Coulter Berry, there is a much more significant message outside of the decision itself. On what appeared to be every available occasion during the proceedings the TOL Counsel referred to the power of council and on a separate occasion stated if residents don’t like the decisions of their council they can vote them out. He referred the Judge to as he says “A more Generous Approach to Municipal Powers”. The Judge clearly had issues with the view of Township Counsel and challenged the TOL interpretation of Provincial Legislation and much more throughout the hearing.

Taking all of this dialogue into account in my experience I would suggest the Township of Langley has set themselves apart from the majority of Municipal Governments by doing what they want. An unhealthy culture has been fostered and sustained going back a number of years involving over time members of Council supported by key members of staff.

I would suggest that they rationalize their actions (we have the power to do so) and by extension saying or suggesting (subliminally at least) anyone who doesn’t like it can sue the Township. We are very fortunate that someone came out and put their money where their mouth is, which obviously most cannot afford. Remember the Township is operating with deep pockets, our tax dollars. I would refer you to cases like the Woods Property on which a stream was diverted on the Willoughby slopes, the Athenry Development up on 208th which I have written extensively about (a travesty of justice in my view) and the Sue Leyland Land Fill issue just to name a few a very few.

In summary – There will be much more published on the Coulter Berry issue in the near future. We will publish the written decision as soon as it is available to do so. Stay tuned, stay vigilant!!!

RG

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe are of significant concern to Township of Langley Residents, come back often for news of interest to Township residents.

Protect your Democratic Rights – Protect your NEIGHBORS Democratic Rights – stay informed, stay involved and VOTE!!!

 

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