A proposed 12-storey office building planned for Langley’s Carvolth neighbourhood needs more public input before Township council can vote on whether to allow it to proceed, council decided Monday.
The council debated the proposed building, which if constructed would be among the tallest in the Township, for some time on the afternoon of March 8.
“I think this is far too significant a change,” said Councillor Kim Richter.
She wanted more public input.
Not all councillors were worried about the project’s impacts, but all noted it was sizable.
“We don’t have very many over-six storey buildings at the moment, more are coming,” said Coun. Bob Long.
He and Mayor Jack Froese noted that there are several taller buildings approved, but not yet built along the 200th Street corridor.
According to staff, about 28 letters were sent out to neighbours – the area is bounded by the highway to the north, and has relatively few residential neighbours nearby – and as of this week, there had been no response.
However, under the province’s state of emergency due to COVID-19, some public input meetings are no longer required. Setting up a public input opportunity will involve letting people sign up for an online session, and it will take a month to publicize effectively, according to Township staff.
“I would like to find some way to get back to a normal process,” noted Coun. Eric Woodward.
The site is in the 19800 block of 88th Avenue, to the west of 200th Street and south of the Trans Canada Highway.
Foundation Properties is applying for a height variance to increase the maximum height of the project from 15 metres (49.2 feet) to 50.9 metres (167) feet.
Their plan is for an asymmetric tower with a middle section that is slightly off-centre from the main structure.
The original height limit was set by a zoning that was put in place for the land just after the 200th Street highway interchange was rebuilt 20 years ago. The Carvolth Neighbourhood Plan was put into place a few years later, and its main limit is a three-storey minimum limit, not a maximum limit.
The plan is for the ground floor of the building to host restaurants, retail, and child care, while the rest of the building is to be a strata office complex.
A total of 504 parking spaces, 307 of them underground, are proposed.
A public input meeting will be held virtually at a future meeting.
Have a story tip? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org