Forest Green residents speak up about OCP

Manufactured home park residents have concerns for their future.

Dan Ferguson

Times Reporter

Some residents of the 160-home Forest Green Estates park made a pitch for improved protection from redevelopment Monday night, arguing Langley Township should adjust the zoning of the site at  at at 9080 198 St.

One suggested creating a new category called “seniors oriented pocket neighbourhood” while another said an existing mobile home designation could be applied.

They were speaking at a public hearing on changes to the official community plan (OCP) that will alter the designation of the Forest Green Estates park from its current category of “industrial” to “urban.”

While residents are less worried the change will lead to the redevelopment of the park following an information meeting with council, they would still like to see measures to preserve it as reasonably priced housing for seniors.

“I think it’s [Forest Green] definitely needed and should be kept,” said Bill MacDonald, a spokesman for the residents.

Council made no decision on the proposals Monday night.

Rezoning would not require a change to the OCP, which would have to be approved by Metro Vancouver, but would require a public hearing.

The residents picketed council July 10 to protest the OCP change they fear will make it much easier to redevelop the 55-and-over gated park into condominiums.

No redevelopment application has been filed.

More than 100 residents attended a July 17 evening meeting with Mayor Jack Froese and Councillors David Davis, Kim Richter, Grant Ward, Charlie Fox and Bev Dornan, along with Ramin Seifi, Township general manager of engineering and community development, and strategic planner Jason Chu.

Seifi told residents the change to an urban designation will mean any rezoning application would have to have input from the residents, something that would not be required for an industrial property.

The Township has regulations that protect mobile home park residents in the event of  rezoning.

Under the Mobile Home Park Development Policy approved in 2008, a developer must arrange and pay for disposal of existing homes at or above the assessed value of the homes; must offer opportunities for right-of-first-refusal to purchase the new housing units at discounts and must provide low-cost housing options.

A developer applying to rezone a mobile home park is also required to provide tenants with advice on options for relocating to market housing, non-market housing and other mobile home parks in the area.