UPDATE – The Council Voting Results! – Move along….Nothing happening here! Township of Langley Council’s Summer time Council Agenda an eye opener! Out of sight, out of mind!!

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

One of the oldest tricks in the book by municipalities that are ethically and morally challenged are to attempt, where possible, to conduct business on potentially controversial development projects during the dog days of summer! Or at the very least get done what you can get done! Well what else could we have expected? Check out the following, on the agenda for tomorrow night’s Council meeting!

The following residential development projects scheduled for tomorrow night’s Council meeting are an example of how the moral compass of a municipality can and has gone wrong. For those that don’t know, tomorrow night’s Council meeting, July 21st, is the last one before September 8th 2014, providing a six week break for members of your Township of Langley Municipal Council. It is no surprise to anyone that the summer period of Council activity is not high on anyone’s agenda. It frankly in many cases flies under the public radar. As mentioned above, it depends on the ethics and morality of your municipality? It is not about eliminating work during the summer, what we are talking about is residential development and density, something currently high on the radar screens of residents being rammed through in the dog days of summer. What should be of serious concern primarily is the list of developments that came to the Public Hearing of July 14th and are subsequently being considered for third reading (approval in principle) tomorrow July 21st, a short one week later! In addition there is an interesting item coming forward for a Development Permit as well as one for Final Reading. So here is some of what is being considered –

E.3        Development Permit Application 100620 – Focus Architecture Inc. / 19913 70th Ave.

Well it just gets more interesting. For many of you this item may sound familiar, it is the old Willoughby / Routley School / land swap issue which was very controversial and was dealt with at Public Hearing June 27th 2011 Bylaw 4853 chaired by yours truly. Looking at the records it didn’t come back for 4th Reading until June 11th, 2012 under a NEW Council. It was passed at 4th with Richter and Davis in opposition. The developer according to the report had requested that a Development Permit not be issued at the time due to some issues with lot lines? Possibly more? So here we have a very controversial development that goes to Public Hearing June 27th, 2011 and doesn’t request a Development Permit until July 21st, 2014 – More than three years later? What else is involved? You can still appear tomorrow to speak to the Development Permit although given its timing mid-summer, out of sight, out of mind!

Surprise! – Not a question or comment about the past controversy, not a question or comment about past OPPOSITION – Approved, Development Permit issued!

H.3        Third Reading – Rezoning Application Qualico / 20445 and 20477 – 86th Ave. Willoughby!

This development (Bylaw 5099) is applying to rezone a portion of a 1.87 ha (4.6 ac) site to Residential Compact Lot Zone R-CL (RH) to permit development of 24 rowhouse units.

The issue here in my mind is the lack of good planning, lack of Community Based Planning and the endless continuation of Spot Zoning of which this is a prime example. What is going to happen with the rest of the site? Are we going to see another application for spot zoning in this development? In this Neighborhood Plan?

For the sake of all current Willoughby residents and those who are going to make a decision to invest in this community in the future, it is time long past time to bring sanity to our planning process.

Surprise! Third Reading passed, no questions about the planning process, no questions about Spot Zoning. Richter opposed with Ward clearly in favor of anything! What is it Ward continues to say, staff are the experts so how could Council go against their recommendations? Boy, that is comforting!

H.4        Third Reading – Official Community Plan Amendment and Rezoning Application 100109 and Development Permit Application 100738 / Portrait Homes Ltd. 20300 65th Ave.

This could happen to you and you probably would not have heard about it! This is another prime example of bad government. While many residents who live just on the bottom of the Willoughby slopes, just above the 20300 65th Ave., are busy with family and summer holidays; your Municipal Government is busy scheduling a development proposal Public Hearing that will have serious impact on your quality of life and household investment.

On July 14th your Municipal Council introduced for consideration an OCP Amendment and Rezoning Application, there we go again with our all in one Omnibus Bylaw changes, for a change from a “Business Office Park” to “Comprehensive Development” consisting of 91 Townhouse Units, and two mixed use buildings containing 120 apartment units plus retail and office space.

One thing that you can say for this Council is when they are elected they are oblivious to the wishes of those that voted them in. It is hard to fathom how drunk they can become with power. Despite a number in opposition just last week, they have scheduled 3rd reading for Monday night, tomorrow July 21st, 2014. What do you think their vote will be, three guesses and the first two don’t count!

Surprise! It was referred to staff to clean up a few issues but clearly in the words of most  of Council it is accepted as is. Not a word about density, not a word on changes of zoning, move along nothing happening here! In his own scare tactic way Fox suggests what would local residents prefer, what is being proposed or welding shops repair centers etc. Well Charlie, it was being rezoned from Business Office Park, doesn’t sound like welding shops to me! Council makes the final decision you are not obligated!

H.5        Third Reading – Official Community Plan Amendment and Rezoning Application 100114 and Development Permit Application 100751 / Kelson Investments Ltd. / 4877 and 4887 – 221st and 22070 – 49th Ave.

Once again this could happen to you and you probably would not have heard about it! This is another prime example of bad government. How many neighborhood residents are busy with family and summer holidays; while your Municipal Government is busy scheduling a development proposal Public Hearing that will or could have serious impact on your quality of life and household investment. I am not suggesting that it will but your Municipal Government should exercise every caution to ensure the neighborhood has a clear opportunity to respond to a development of this nature. That is the least they should be able to expect.

On July 14th your Municipal Council introduced for consideration an OCP Amendment and Rezoning Application, there we go again with our all in one Omnibus Bylaw changes, for a change from “Multi Family Three” to “Multi Family Four” to accommodate the development of 105 rental apartment units.

Surprise! Adopted unanimously! Not a word about density, not a word about our inadequate planning process and not a word about what is effectively spot zoning!

H.6        Third Reading Rezoning and Community Plan Amendment Application 100107 and Development Permit Application 100733 (East Gordon Developments Ltd. / 7021 to 7165 – 210th Street) Bylaws 5078 and 5079

A wildly comprehensive Omnibus Bylaw and OCP Amendment change, that was dealt with at the June 16th 2014 Public Hearing. This is the same ongoing planning disaster that is affecting Willoughby, an all in one Omnibus change of two changes in one.

Once again it featured significant community opposition to these proposed changes. A constant thread of that opposition dealt with the concern about the changes that have been made or proposed since the original plan was tabled and accepted by the community.

Once again this could happen to you and you probably would not have heard about it! This is another prime example of bad government. How many neighborhood residents are busy with family and summer holidays; while your Municipal Government is busy scheduling significant changes to bylaws that could have devastating impact on what you thought you had bought into. Your Municipal Government should exercise every caution to ensure the neighborhood has a clear opportunity to respond to changes they are proposing.

That is the least residents should be able to expect. You deserve better!

Surprise! Given Third Reading – Davis and Richter opposed! Not a word about the significant community opposition, not a word about the changes in development plans, not a word about poor planning, move along nothing happening here!

Summary – This post features a cross section of examples of what is wrong in planning within the Township of Langley. This IS NOT anti-development but it is about good development and a good return for the Township of Langley taxpayer. It IS about the need to bring COMMUNITY back into Community Planning.

Lets be clear, I do not fault the developer, I lay the blame at the feet of senior staff and Council, who for whatever reason are willing promote and accept bad planning. Good developers want to be a part of well thought out and planned development and community.

Let’s stop accepting mediocrity! Let’s stop accepting a continuing barrage of Spot Zoning!

I would encourage residents to watch Council proceedings on the Live Stream provided. It gives anyone who is willing to go through that pain (also great cure for those with insomnia) to see what passes for a Council who is charged with the serious responsibility of looking after the taxpayers best interest!

I rest my case! And after doing that damage they are now off for a 6 week holiday!  

RG

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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!!!

 

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Comments
  1. gadfly says:

    As I recall, similar things have happened in previous years. When almost everybody is on vacation and almost nobody is at home to provide public input, this anti-democratic process is continued to continue, only due to the apathy of the people.

    • As I said this is done in ethically challenged municipalities and I would agree it only is allowed to happen when taxpayers are disengaged (apathy of voters) from their elected representatives. Hopefully we can start to change that!!!

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