Another ‘no’ to Langley university district plan

Township and Metro Vancouver authority clash over future development

The Township of Langley and the Metro Vancouver regional authority are once again at odds over who has the final say about development in the second-largest (by area) municipality in the Lower Mainland.

This time, it’s a fight over the Township Regional Context Statement, a document that is supposed to show how Langley will co-ordinate its growth with the other communities in Metro Vancouver over the next few decades.

A Nov. 8 Metro Vancouver staff report called the Langley context statement “unacceptable” because it insists the Township is within its rights to approve a so-called “University District” near Trinity Western University.

The Metro report raises other objections, but the main issue concerns the Township’s decision to green-light housing and related commercial development near Trinity Western University (TWU) on 376 acres at 7645 and 7679 Glover Rd., and 22423 Labonte Cres. over the objections of Metro.

Metro has gone to court to quash the bylaw that approved the district, saying the plan violates Metro’s goal of concentrating growth in town centres and limiting sprawl in more rural and agricultural areas.

The Township argues it is operating under the old regional plan — not the new one adopted two years ago — and can legally make the land-use change without Metro approval.

Because the context statement adopts the same position, a majority of Metro Vancouver directors voted to reject it on Nov. 15.

The letter formally notifying council of the decision was sent Nov. 21.

At the Monday (Dec. 2) meeting of Township council, Engineering and Community Development general manager Ramin Seifi, said the next step will likely involve mediation between the municipality and Metro.

– with files from Jeff Nagel