The next phase of preparation for the impending arrival of rapid transit in Langley City is now underway.
The city is bringing in a consultant to both develop new plans to guide development and figure out a way to make better use of the under-used Nicomekl River District.
MODUS Planning, Design and Engagement is a planning, design, and engagement firm based in Vancouver.
It will work on updating the Official Community Plan and Langley City zoning bylaws as well as creating a a Nicomekl River District neighbourhood plan.
It is all part of the Nexus plan to get the City ready for rapid transit, and will take a year to 16 months to complete the work “through a competitive project procurement process.”
What will happen amounts to translating the general principles of the Nexus plan into specific proposals, said City chief administrative officer Francis Cheung.
The goal is to make sure that, by the time the first rapid transit train arrives, Langley City will be ready to take advantage of the opportunities, and manage the potential challenges, he elaborated.
A big change like Skytrain requires “transformative” change, Cheung said, change that can be leveraged to improve the City, even in areas where the transit line won’t be running.
One challenge the City faces is housing, and the Nexus goal is to make changes that will create a community where a person can be born and grow up in Langley without being forced to move away in search of housing they can afford, Cheung said.
It also aims to create a community where, ideally, everyone is within 20 minutes of a transit pickup point, or can get there without being forced to drive. A city where there is more cycling and more walking.
Another important goal is making better use of the “under-utilized asset” of the Nicomekl River District by developing a plan that will transform the north and south side of the Nicomekl River corridor into a “successful waterfront redevelopment.”
Residents will have lots of opportunity to shape the change through “intensive, extensive, robust” consultation, he vowed.
MODUS planner Patrick Oystryk echoed those remarks, promising a “made-in-Langley plan.”
“We are honoured to be a part of this next chapter, and we look forward to connecting with the community” Oystryk said.
“Working across disciplines — from policy planning to place making — our team promises a bold and engaging process.”