Proposed Fort Langley building faces public hearing

Township councillor Kim Richter feels three storey development exceeds guidelines

The Coulter Berry Building proposed for the corner of Glover Road and Mavis Street in Fort Langley will likely form part of a public hearing in the autumn.

Last month, council initiated the process for a development variance and a heritage alteration permit by asking staff to bring forward the application.

The decision did not sit well with Councillor Kim Richter who said that at three storeys, the development exceeds guidelines for Fort Langley.

Councillors Bob Long and David Davis joined Richter in opposing the next step of the process to develop the property occupied for decades by the IGA. The grocery store, destroyed by fire in January, 2011, is being rebuilt on the east end of the property.

“Somehow in my mind it doesn’t fit,” Richter said.

“It could be the leading edge of the change of what Fort Langley is going to be.”

The permits would require a public hearing.

Councillor Charlie Fox said that council needs to see the plans before it can decide whether it can proceed to a hearing. He said that at this point council is neither supporting nor circumventing the process.

Long was not comfortable with staff inviting the proponent to file an application.

“Is this due process? Why wouldn’t the proponent apply like anyone else?”

Richter agreed. “I think the logic is a bit faulty,” she said.

Councillor Grant Ward criticized Richter’s stand.

“I think Councillor Richter is trying to jump the gun,” he said.

“It seems to me that this council needs to know exactly what this is all about,” Ward said.