Brookswood Fernridge Community Plan…. NEXT? Council’s decision! Don’t accept a referral; it will be designed with the same result in mind!!

Posted: March 24, 2014 in Uncategorized

For elected members of Council this is where the rubber hits the road! This is where they will show you their worth as your elected representatives. The intriguing part of this story is their vote, rationale and sleight of hand decisions. I have followed the proceedings very closely on this issue. The community response was outstanding and should be applauded. My thoughts follow and these are based on many years of experience while observing as well as sitting around the table. In an elected capacity I went through the infamous Southlands / Spetifore hearings of 108 hours (Still a Canadian Record) and the Burns Bog Hearings of about 40 hours in length. Do not be fooled, read on….

This Municipal Council has themselves to blame for getting into the position they are in. For far too many years Councils in the Township of Langley have had a free reign to impose their wishes and will on an unsuspecting public. For far too many years our communities and their residents have been apathetic towards the actions of their Municipal Government. I sincerely hope that problem has turned the corner.

In the case of the Brookswood Fernridge Community Plan the Township of Langley continue to abuse the public trust through a widely flawed public process. When you continue to resist a good dose of public involvement, public dialogue and meaningful public input, the community backlash will be severe, or so it should!

As an example, in the case of the Coulter Berry Building in Fort Langley, you have a new interloper in the community that has personal resources and feels he can manipulate elected members of Council. The problem, he has been successful so far!! We shall see?

How is Brookswood Fernridge any different? Here you have a Community Plan funded by 10 landowner / developers (the Griffith Neighborhood Advisory Corporation GNA) to the tune of a $500,000 loan to be paid back once development is complete. They are participating as a Community Advisory Board? What? How can the Township of Langley be serious by allowing this kind of blatant conflict of interest or at the very least perceived conflict? If this Council had the public interest in mind they would never have allowed this to happen. Well there is obviously a good deal more to it, how else can you explain it?

To the residents of Brookswood Fernridge, congratulations! You shocked the hell out of Council. Your turnout was magnificent and exactly what was necessary to catch their attention. However for what it is worth I believe this council will follow a long tried and true political solution and they will punt the ball (refer it to staff for more public consultation), that is until after this year’s election. Warning, they have repeatedly proven that they cannot be trusted and this exercise would be no different.

By what I call punting the ball I mean they will refer the community plan back to the community for more input and dialogue, unfortunately it will be involving the same players and the same flawed process.

The only option worth discussing is that this community plan proposal be totally rejected. It is time for a truly integrated community planning process involving a community based Community Planning Committee (Community residents and local business owners as members) be developed through community consultation. It has to go back to square one, don’t be fooled.

What is Mayor Froese talking about with respect to Metro Vancouver’s RGS (Regional Growth Strategy)? Proof he doesn’t know what he is talking about!

It is interesting how Mayor Froese plays fast and loose with the inconvenient facts. When it comes to building 69 Townhomes in the middle of a large Agricultural area (ALR) for the Wall property owned by friends and insiders and the expanded Trinity University District he fights Metro through the courts. His rationale, Metro doesn’t have the right to tell the Township what to do. Now to Brookswood; he states that we are obligated to this kind of density due to Metro’s Regional Growth Strategy. Well let’s set the record straight, the density numbers in the RGS for the Brookswood Fernridge community is a projection / an estimate going forward. It is not a committed number; it couldn’t be because of so many unknowns. It is still clearly up to the Township of Langley to create Community Plans that speak to resident wishes.

Summary:

As I said earlier, the Brookswood Fernridge Community deserves a ton of credit for their attendance at the Open House and Public Hearing BUT you are not out of the woods! The fight is not over, don’t relax yet!

The proposed Community Plan that is coming up for 3rd reading should never have been allowed to see the light of day, it is an embarrassment. The community and neighborhood planning process that has been a feature of Township of Langley Planning is an embarrassment and must come to an end. The Township of Langley Planning process coupled with it’s practice of introducing omnibus bylaws featuring OCP amendments and zoning changes in one process displays a complete lack of concern for community and continues to be a feature of this Municipal Government. It is long past time it all comes to an end!!!!

Community Rally PLEASE attend –     Leave Brookswood & Fernridge alone RALLY to Save Your Community – Sunday March 30th, 12 NOON at Noel Booth Community Park (36th & 202nd at the Batting cage). From there we walk to Brookswood Park. Bring your signs! Arrive at Brookswood Park – 1 PM (200th & 40th)  

Council Meeting PLEASE attend –       Council Decision 7:00 PM Monday March 31st. Venue change – Christian Life Assembly for the Council meeting and to observe Council’s decision.

RG

I am working on a few posts at present that I believe should be of significant concern and interest to residents of the Township of Langley.

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

Share this BLOG; forward it to your friends, neighbors and relatives!

To comment on this post – Click on this Post, top left hand corner under recent posts.

Comments
  1. Shon Troelstrup says:

    I was also surprised by the turnout at these meetings/hearings. I know many of my neighbors follow local politics as close as they can, but most of them still had no clear idea what TOL is up to after attending a few of the open houses.

    I am not at all surprised to see Langley City and Surrey stepping up to voice their concerns about this plan as well. The organizers of the rally on March 30 are part of a Facebook group of over 800 people (Facebook group: Leave Brookswood Alone!), who have really come together to build a well-informed community. We in Brookswood are fortunate not to have had our neighborhoods torn apart like Coulter Berry has done to Fort Langley. Rather, it has unified and organized a lot of residents who will certainly be paying a lot more attention to council’s activities (and elections) moving forward.

    I was one of several people who were surprised/horrified to see a “proposed pedestrian environment improvement” crossing what appears to be a road/bridge over Anderson Creek, along 40 Avenue, through Brookswood Park in the maps. Mr. Seifi from TOL has assured me that there are no plans to extend the road through Brookswood Park on 40 Avenue, but failed twice to answer my question about what the “pedestrian environment” is. He also assured me that the maps provided to the public on the boards do not indicate roads, even though by all appearances, they are exact street maps of the area. Baffling.

    Check the map on page 12 and see for yourself: http://www.tol.ca/Portals/0/FileShare/ComDev/2014-02-18%20OH4%20FINAL%20Boards.pdf

    There is no road through Brookswood Park, and the boards emphasize that “pedestrian improvements” are “In particular, sidewalks”. Based on my experience with TOL staff, (the 41 Avenue low pressure sewer experiment), I would not be surprised at all if there really were plans to build a multi-million dollar bridge connecting 40 Avenue through Brookswood Park, and that the public should have seen it coming because “it’s right there on their drawings”.

    Mr. Green, do you recall when the residents of 41 Ave/199a Street were fighting the sewer project (Bylaw 4698), and one of the councilors, possibly Mr. Kositzky, pointed out that there had never been a full report on the status of the upgraded sewer line running up 200 street? Did anything ever come of that? Can the “new and improved” sewer line on 200 Street handle this type of growth? Because if a neighborhood of 29 homes is told they need a “$750,000 lift station and a house expropriated to build it” just to get a gravity sewer, what’s going to happen to every connecting street all the way down 200th?

    Great to hear your thoughts on this. Thanks!!

    • Shon: Thank you for your comments. With respect to the complete lack of transparency in the Township. When I decided to run for Mayor in 2008 I did so only after considerable due dilligence on major issues of the day. What is scary is what I found after being elected that would have otherwise never seen the light of day. There is an inbred culture of entitlement that has been fostered in this community for a number of years designed to benefit the chosen few and until this group get thrown out of office (except David Davis) nothing will change.

      i believe the sewer line has the capacity for the projected growth, having said that I also seem to recall an issue with the engineering of it and the therefore obvious need for lift stations along the route. I am only going by recollection but would have to delve into that in some detail.

      Keep up the fight and stay in touch!

      All the best
      Rick Green

  2. Shon Troelstrup says:

    I remember all too well what you had to deal with, sir. We met you at one of your open houses and you described your relationship with Council as “trying to steer the Titanic from the engine room”.

    • Shon: You know, residents of the Township would be shocked if they spent 5 minutes to learn the facts about the antics of our Council members. Disagreements over issues ie developments etc. will happen all the time and that is fair, that is what Council is all about. What should be alarming to all is the incredible lengths people (councilors, their community stooges and cohorts) would go to character assassinate myself and therefore the decision of the electorate in 2008 who elected me. There was no foundation of truth in any of it. Stay tuned for the “Rest of the Story”!

      All the best
      Rick

  3. gadfly says:

    It is obvious that the lack of improvements to 200th Street will break this camel’s back. Strange that the same term “200th Street” comes up time and again – since at least 1995 to my knowledge. Then it was the Colossus, later on it was the “fiasco”, then it was the link to the Golden Ears Bridge, then it was increase density (under Sustainability by Development (SxD) that ignores Develop With Care (DWC) and now this. And this thoroughfare still has a level crossing within the City of Langley…….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s