Township of Langley Development is out of control! Your community’s OCP and Zoning is NOT safe with this Council! Vesta – Read on….

Posted: January 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

As you know, I have been speaking out about who is really in control in the Township, plus; a lack of any consistent planning process, an Omnibus By-Law process (changing zoning and OCP through ONE Public Hearing) and the majority of nodding heads on Council who consistently refrain from defending the public’s interest in the Township of Langley. Don’t believe me, just be objective – read the following: Would you be happy investing in your family home and then find your Council amended the OCP, changed the zoning and by doing so almost doubled the density in your community that was in place when you purchased?

Preamble: Anyone that has followed www.langleywatchdog.com since we started over three years ago will recall the many objections I have had and the objections I believe the general public should have about how your municipality is being managed and governed, who is really in control? Being the Mayor for three years provided myself with conclusive proof about all of my misgivings. Here is but another example of the manipulation of the process that favors a chosen few!

On Monday December 14th, 2015 your Council dealt with an Agenda item H1 – It read as follows:

Rezoning and Community Plan Amendment Application No. 100124 and

Development Permit Applications No. 100783 and No. 100801 (East Gordon Developments Ltd. / 7038 to 7162 – 210 Street) Bylaw No. 5166 Bylaw No. 5167 Report 15-115 File CD 08-13-0085

Item of Concern – This Agenda Item was scheduled to be heard later in the meeting in its regular spot on the agenda. The order was changed by the Mayor at the request of Councilor Whitmarsh, who it seemed had to leave the meeting shortly to catch a flight out of town. Unusual! Why this item? Well these by-laws were created to serve the needs of Vesta Properties even though that was not identified in the Agenda copy. A quick review of all Financial Disclosures for the 2014 election shows that Vesta Properties were significant contributors to many members of Council – Mayor Froese, Councilors Fox, Whitmarsh and Quaale. With Councilor Richter absent it would have been a tie-vote therefore it would have been defeated…. See how it works?

Item of Concern – In typical slight-of-hand fashion a read of the entire copy in the agenda shows that nowhere does the name Vesta Properties exist (as mentioned earlier), it states East Gordon Developments Ltd. As stated by Councilor Sparrow in her discussion/debate, these two by-laws were being introduced to cover the last phase of the Vesta Property Development. Why then, given the by-laws purpose was to double the original density, was Vesta (a name that would have registered with any community member reading the agenda) not identified as the originator of the two by-laws? One would think that would meet the stated goals of some members of this Council, that is to be transparent.

Item of Concern – As this was the final phase of the Vesta Properties Development, as Vesta Properties knew and accepted the stated OCP and a zoning density that existed from the outset and part of their original overall development plan, how and why in good conscience could the majority of this Council be intimidated or coerced into providing the developer to virtually double the density? Any amenities that were offered by Vesta Properties in exchange for this density increase do not come close to the increase on Vesta’s return on investment.

Item of Concern – In what can only be described as a “what are you thinking moment”, Councilor Quaale supported by Councilor Whitmarsh, while approving of the development proposed a traffic study of the area, something that residents were concerned about. Her amendment for the traffic study passed at the same time as third reading which in essence has zero effect on the development approval. Message to Councilors Quaale and Whitmarsh, traffic will be a concern and a serious problem BECAUSE you doubled the density!!!

Item of Concern – In councilor Fox’s mind we need more affordable housing and Realtors say this is what is needed! Well Councilor Fox, at the price point these properties will sell at they will not fall under the affordable housing guidelines. While I have many friends who are realtors, with the greatest of respect you DO NOT ask the FOX, who is guarding the hen house, for an opinion!

Item of Concern – Councilor Long is now serving his sixth term on Council and one would hope that with that experience he would know the answer to the question he asked of staff “would a change of density require a NEW Public Hearing”? Surprisingly staff said yes, and that is wrong! If the density was decreased from what was presented at a Public Hearing, a NEW Public Hearing is NOT required. In true Township fashion some questions are asked by members of Council with a nudge nudge wink wink, give me the answer I am looking for.

The Township has made manipulating the development process an art form! A little history of interest! In 2008 Park Lane Homes were going through the development process for what I call their condo wall (A three storey building) in Fort Langley. This development was given 1st and 2nd reading, The Public Hearing heard considerable objection by the residents of Fort Langley at the time but was given third reading in spite of that outcry. What was shocking is that the Council proceeded with 4th reading and Development Permit approval for a FOUR storey building. (No New Public Hearing). They increased density without a NEW Public Hearing. Was this not illegal! OH, and Bob Long, you were on that Council.  

Public Engagement – It has been no secret that I have been very critical of the Mayor’s charade, otherwise known as his Public Engagement Task Force that was solely designed to appear to the public that Council really cares. I am not critical of those selected to be on this Task Force, only for it being created in the first place. Under the Community Charter we have the opportunity for Public Hearings, Public Meetings, Open Houses and much more. All that it takes is a Mayor and Council that listens to the public. This is NOT rocket science!

Special note of congratulations to Councilor Sparrow – While I have admittedly been critical of Councilor Sparrow in the past I want to recognize Councilor Sparrow for a job very well done in her debate/discussion and vote against this project. She was articulate and honest in her comments and thoughts. We could use much more of that reasoned thinking in the months and years ahead. Councilors Arnason and Davis joined Councilor Sparrow in their vote against the Vesta project.

Summary –

In closing this is just another example of what is going on in the Township of Langley. I am not one to believe that change is impossible, more difficult at times Yes, but not impossible. The tentacles of those who created this monster run deep. A culture has been created and severely influenced by an interesting triumvirate of individuals that operate in the belief that they are entitled. Stay tuned for more interesting posts.  

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!!!

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Comments
  1. MW McPhee says:

    Thank you Rick Green for looking out for the residents of Langley and creating a forum for discussion. all the best in 2016!

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